Improving E-Commerce Through Returns


Any time I make a return on Amazon, I end up sharing some level of detail about why I didn't hang on to the item. I always hope the feedback makes its way back to the seller and if it's an issue, they can find ways to improve.

I don't think we spend enough time talking about returns when brands are looking to optimize their e-commerce websites. As important as it is to talk to your customers to understand their wants, needs, and desires, returns can shed light on actionable opportunities to improve.

Here are a couple of scenarios:

  • Most protein powders arrive with a big open space at the top of the container. Customers return the product saying it's defective and they didn't get enough. The truth is, the powder settles and that's how every container arrives. So, make sure every customer knows what to expect before they buy!
  • A brand sees their boots being returned at an uncomfortably high rate, but about half of the customers buy a bigger size. When they add a question to the return process, they learn that most customers wear the boots in colder months with thick socks. They fit fine, but they need the extra room to be comfortable. So, make sure every customer knows to size up if they're thick-sock lovers!

What was the last return you made? Was it a product issue or something that could have been prevented with an update to the website pre-purchase?


This post originally appeared in Edition No. 167 of my newsletter. Subscribe here.

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