7 Best Practices to Reduce Product Returns in E-commerce

Learn the seven top eCommerce practices to reduce product returns.
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Last update:

September 21, 2023

7 Best Practices to Reduce Product Returns in eCommerce: Boost Satisfaction and ProfitsThe product return in eCommerce has a negative impact on the viability and profitability of the business. Each returned product signifies not only a financial setback but also the possibility of losing a devoted client. It influences consumer loyalty, operational proficiency, and, eventually, the bottom line of online businesses. However, fear not!

In this article, we dig into the art of reducing product returns with meticulously crafted best practices. These strategies won't just assist you in minimizing the recurrence of returns but also enhance the shopping experience for your clients. 

Apart from this, we've also included a bonus resource; check out these top 10 apps to help supercharge your eCommerce product delivery and return. So, whether you're an established online retailer or just starting, join us on this look at strategies that can change your business, make customers happier, and make the business more profitable.

Major Causes of Product Returns in eCommerce

The first step in developing efficient strategies to reduce product returns is to comprehend the major causes. eCommerce product returns are common for the following reasons:

  • Due to the absence of the tactile experience of trying on products, online shoppers frequently encounter sizing issues.
  • Inaccuracy drives returns when product descriptions do not correspond with the actual product, for instance, variation in color, material, or functionality.
  • Disappointing craftsmanship or poor-quality materials can incite customers to initiate a return for the product.
  • Shipping mishaps or items damaged on arrival can also be one of the reasons for returns.
  • Sometimes, the customer also processes a return after changing their mind or finding a better alternative to the product.

Now that we know the reasons for eCommerce returns, we should also learn about the challenges faced by businesses in handling returns.

Common Challenges in Handling Returns

Processing eCommerce returns comes with a series of challenges for businesses to navigate. These challenges include:

  1. Dealing with returns includes complex operations, from planning pickup or drop-off to investigating, restocking, and possibly reshipping things.
  2. eCommerce returns impact inventory management, influencing stock levels and possibly prompting overloads or stockouts.
  3. Effective communication during return becomes time-consuming, especially when addressing customer’s concerns and inquiries.
  4. Before restocking, it is essential to ensure that returned items meet quality standards to avoid repeated returns.
  5. Handling refunds due to the high volume of returns can strain monetary resources and systems.

To deal with these challenges, we have compiled below a list of top strategies that can help decrease the impact of package returns and profit your business.

7 Top Strategies for Reducing eCommerce Returns

Limiting product returns in eCommerce isn't simply an objective; it is a strategic necessity. Fortunately, businesses can significantly reduce return rates and increase customer satisfaction by implementing the right practices.

1. Detailed product descriptions

Unmatched expectations are one of the primary causes of product returns.  To deal with this, utilize resources to make thorough and precise product descriptions.  Go past the nuts and bolts and give the nitty-gritty specifications, including materials, dimensions, care instructions, and any applicable usage details. The more details you offer, the more clients will be able to make informed buying decisions.

2. Size guides and measurements

Products that don't fit right are a common reason people return them, especially in the fashion industry. Make clear and easy-to-understand size outlines that clients can allude to before making a purchase. Plus, include instructions on how to measure yourself for the best fit to reduce the likelihood of ordering the wrong size or returning it.

3. High-quality product images

Visual appeal plays an essential part in eCommerce.  High-quality pictures that precisely represent your product can help reduce returns due to visual disparities. Provide images of the product in use, as well as shots from a variety of angles, close-ups, and, where applicable, professional photography. Customers are less likely to be surprised when they receive the product if it is depicted accurately in your listing.

4. Quality control and inspection

A frequently disregarded part of reducing returns is thorough quality control and inspection processes. Ensure that items leaving your warehouse satisfy stringent quality guidelines. This step can assist in preventing issues like shipping damaged goods or sending out products with defects, which are normal return triggers.

5. Customer reviews and ratings

Harness the power of client input by empowering reviews and ratings. Positive feedback improves buyer confidence and builds trust. They give insights into the item's performance, quality, and fit, alleviating worries that frequently lead to returns. Expeditiously address negative feedback to demonstrate your obligation to consumer loyalty.

6. Easy and transparent return policies

A client-friendly return policy can significantly reduce returns and foster trust. Make sure that your return policy is clearly written and easy to understand on your website. Be specific about return cutoff times, conditions, and the process. Make it as simple as possible for customers to initiate returns, this will help to fix shopping cart abandonment and increase your repeat business.

7. Effective customer support

Extraordinary customer support can rescue circumstances that could somehow prompt returns. Invest in a customer support team that is quick to respond and knowledgeable. Train your employees to offer solutions to dissatisfied customers, transforming a potentially negative experience into a positive one.

Keep in mind that these seven strategies act as a shield to fight against product returns in eCommerce businesses.

Industry Trends and Future Outlook for Reducing Returns

eCommerce is an ever-evolving landscape, so adopting industry trends is crucial to minimize the rate of eCommerce returns. Here's a glimpse into the future of eCommerce:

  1. Customers will be able to try on products as augmented reality (AR) virtually technology becomes more widely available, removing the guesswork associated with sizing and appearance. Organizations ought to put resources into AR integration to improve the accuracy of product portrayals.
  2. Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence-driven algorithms empower organizations to anticipate client inclinations better, decreasing the probability of clients getting things that don't line up with their preferences.
  1. To remain competitive, organizations ought to continue to improve and work on their return processes. For a seamless experience, self-service return portals and quick refund processing are essential.
  2. Eco-conscious shoppers are on the rise. Businesses should prioritize sustainable sourcing and manufacturing methods to reduce returns due to ethical or quality issues.

Therefore, businesses must remain adaptable, prioritize customer-centric practices, and embrace emerging technologies to thrive in the field of eCommerce.


Conclusively, excelling in the art of reducing product returns is not simply an objective; it's a need for eCommerce. Your path to success includes crafting precise product descriptions and providing exceptional customer support.

By executing them, you're relieving the monetary effect of profits as well as forging more grounded bonds with your clients. Reducing the number of returns to 0 can be difficult, but whenever there are returns, you can use ShipSaving to help you reduce your shipping costs! ShipSaving is free to start and easy to use. 

Keep in mind that each product returned isn't simply a refund; it's a chance to build trust and steadfastness. You will see your eCommerce business flourish, with fewer returns, higher customer satisfaction, and a brighter future if you adopt these practices and keep tweaking your strategy. 

Written on:

September 18, 2023
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