How e-commerce Changed the Returned Item Ecosystem

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On Kohl’s’ return policy web page, the sentence Your satisfaction is our priority, and the company is one of many determined to hold true to that. With the number of options available today, brands must take the saying “the customer is always right” to a new level.

Whether consumer or merchant, dealing with returns and exchanges particularly with online retailers can be as appealing as a trip to the orthodontist. However, despite the possible hassle patrons may have to experience when it comes to returns or exchanges, it still does not deter them from participating in e-commerce. It is predicted that by 2021 there will be 2.14 billion online shoppers worldwide.

Amazon offers free shipping and returns on products sold by the company but not on products sold by other parties on the company’s website. According to Shopify, a large e-commerce platform, 67 percent of online shoppers base their decision on whether to purchase a product depending on the return policy of the retailer. Bearing in mind that 58 percent of customers dislike the process of returning or exchange items, not all retailers offer such a favorable policy.

A Kohl’s store associate in New Jersey who has been with the company for four years was frank when explaining the company’s return and exchange policy.

“As long as they [the customer] have the receipt or the method of payment we will refund them, no matter how long it has been or even if the product is damaged,” they said. “We have a no questions asked policy.”

A stipulation is made with regards to premium electronic products, such as Dyson. A 30-day period is allotted for an item to be returned. It must be in its original packaging and accompanied by the receipt, or an account of purchasing the item that can be verified. Within these parameters almost anything and everything can be returned.

“People have gone on vacation and returned the item after,” the Kohl’s associate said when describing the time a customer came in to return a few articles of clothing.

If there is no receipt, the Kohls associate mentioned that the customer may be able to receive a refund for the lowest merchandise credit.

Damaged product before or after you have purchased it? Even clearance items that might have caused buyer’s remorse, no matter the reason, condition, or even the length of time that has passed since purchase can all be returned or exchanged without a receipt.

“There are constant returns, every day! If I had to put it into a percent, I’d say there are 10-15 percent of returns on a daily basis,” recalled the Kohl’s associate.

If a returned item has no damage to it at all, it will be put back on the sales floor to be sold at full price. Any damage, defect or significant amount of time that has passed will result in the item being thrown out or at the very least sold at a reduced price.

A manager for one of Kohl’s’ New Jersey stores said that “In the long run, Kohl’s does not focus on the item, but on the loyalty of the customer.”

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