Best Practices for Returns

June 8, 2023
irfan ullah

This episode of Keeping Count features Herb Billings, VP of Product Strategy at Datascan.

Free returns are now the norm, and Billings notes, “Retailers need to consider them as part of the purchase process, not something separate.” The return policy of a store, if done well, can win the company a customer for life. If not, they’ll shop somewhere else.

What’s the best customer-centric approach to returns? Billings explained, “First, it’s important to say that two-thirds of online shoppers research return policies before purchasing. It needs to be easy to read and obvious. It also should be easy to find through the navigation of the website and app.”

Billings urges retailers to make it painless. “Include a prepaid shipping label for returns where appropriate. You want to gather as much information as you can to improve the process, but make it easy for the consumer.”

As to where customers should make returns, it’s about convenience. “It’s whatever is the easiest for them, which could be shipping it back or returning it to a physical location, even if the item isn’t sold there,” Billings added.

Retailers can make or break customer relationships with returns. “Your best shoppers are often ones with high return rates, so treat them well. If you attempt to minimize returns, you’ll also minimize your customers.”

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