Shoppers have reacted negatively to eCommerce stores charging for returns. According to a recent report published by SAP Emarsys, 26% of shoppers have stopped buying from specific retailers due to paid eCommerce returns policies.
The report suggests that 18% of consumers questioned view paid returns as “unfair.” In addition, 13% of those surveyed indicated that they had thrown away items rather than returned them due to the cost of returns.
Returns Remain a Significant Challenge to Online Retailers
This news will not be welcomed by many large retailers, who, in recent months, have sought to change how the general public perceives the online returns process. A recent report suggested that nearly one in four large retailers had started charging for returns. Retailers adopting this strategy included Zara, Next, and Uniqlo.
Speaking to journalists, Megan Hostetler, global senior product marketing manager at SAP Emarsys, said, “From discovery, to purchase, to shipping, to receipt both in-store and online, brands risk diminished reputations placing hurdles in front of their customers. It’s not enough to have the right product at the right price; complete transparency every step of the way, and solutions that reflect customer preference when problems arise, are a must.
“Returns are a powerful opportunity for brands to build loyalty, both in terms of collecting data and gaining trust. Retail brands that get it right build higher customer lifetime value, receive fewer returns, and elevate that all-important customer experience; ultimately delivering on the promises made to customers is what drives true customer loyalty.”
Reducing Returns on eBay
Returns are not good for business.
As we have previously published on this blog, returns cost retailers approximately 66% of the original item’s price, potentially destroying your margins on successful transactions. This is especially true in categories like fashion, where even conservative estimates suggest anywhere between 30 and 40% of purchases are returned.
Returns also have a significantly negative impact on the environment, with additional time spent in transit and items potentially entering landfill when they cannot be returned to stock.
While many eBay sellers will be disheartened to learn online retailers are struggling to persuade buyers that free returns are no longer standard business practice, there are many things sellers can do to reduce the burden of returns.
This process starts with optimising your eBay listings to ensure that your buyers know exactly what they are getting before they click the buy now button.
To learn more about how Frooition can help your business optimise its eBay listings, sell more, and reduce returns, check out our free eBay Listing Optimisation Tool or book a free 15-minute call with one of our eBay experts today.