6 ways you can reduce your ecommerce return rate


According to NZ Post, online shopping has seen a decrease with inflation having an impact on how much shoppers are spending.“Tough economic times appear to be the key driver as higher prices, and the reduced buying power of wages, have seen Kiwis become more selective about how much they spend and where they spend it.”. With 2023 likely becoming another challenging year for businesses, it’s never been more important to continue to adapt your product, website and delivery experience to meet customers changing needs and to offer more value.

Why do customers return items?

Research by SaleCycle data states that the common causes for product returns are related to the “faithfulness” of the description.

  • 80.2% delivery damage or a broken product as the main reason
  • 64.22% mentioned an unmatching description of the item
  • 37.2% didn’t like the product

There will always be buyers who are notorious over shoppers and have no intention of keeping all of the products they buy. However, the shoppers outside of this can be better served through listing improvements, better and more informative visual content.

6 ways that can help you reduce your ecommerce return rate


1. Present your products accurately

Do you remember situations where the unboxed product completely missed your expectations built up with an online product listing of a shop? A shoe that was lilac-coloured rather than perfect crimson? A bag smaller than you thought?

The first principle that will serve as a guide across all possible improvements is already famous: what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG).

  • This will boil down to showing your online shoppers the most realistic and natural depiction of the product possible. 


2. Provide rich product description

Having complete product information on your website is a must. Product information improves the customer experience regardless of what sector you’re in as customers are always looking to learn more about your product.

  • As marketplaces grow even more competitive, anything you can do to distinguish yourself can help, and product information quality is certainly an area to exploit a USP.


3. Include high-quality, 360 degree photos on product pages

High-resolution photos fill in when words don’t suffice and work in tandem with detailed product descriptions.

  • Added features such as 3D, 360-degree photos, and videos also clearly present items’ features to customers.

4. Build trust with social proof

Put customers minds at ease by showing how other customers had positive shopping experiences with your brand.

  • Besides reviews and testimonials, user-generated content (UGC) provides a layer of authenticity.
  • Customers value recommendations from family and friends, as well as real people online.


5. Encourage your previous shoppers to write a review

Buyer feedback can inform what you need to improve about the customer experience, your products, or the returns process.

  • Reviews can also underscore the many ways you stand out from competitors.
  • This is best done post-purchase and can be automated.

Using return data can allow you to mitigate and lower unnecessary returns by empowering you with the “why” behind your returned items.

  • For example, if a shirt is running small, you can inform potential shoppers to buy a size up, proactively reducing potential returns.



6.Be transparent with your returns policy and make it visible

Be upfront with what your customers are getting into.

  • 66% of digital buyers check the order return policy before purchasing the product. (Source: UPS.com).

Your return policy should be easy to locate and read. The conditions must be clear, leaving little to no room for misinterpretation.



Returns can be costly and can have an impact on customers faith in your business and your products. With the tips we’ve outlined above, our main suggestion and focal point for your business is to put customer expectation and feelings at the forefront of everything you do. UX research has shown that you can reduce your return rate by offering precise visual and listing information.

POP are your expert leaders in providing you with product photos, 360° and videos that clearly represent what you are selling and provide realistic detail of your products.

Talk to us today! Our packages start from as low as $80.

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