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How to reduce webshop returns?

Online fashion retailers face significant return rates, ranging from 20% to 50% on average, and in some cases, even 70%. It is crucial to reduce these returns, considering that the average return shipment costs €12.50. The main reasons for returns are ordering the wrong size or fit (58%) and products being "different than expected" (27%) (Thuiswinkel.org, Shopping Tomorrow, Topsector Logistiek, and TNO, 2019-2020).


The biggest problem is the difficulty consumers face in choosing the right size online. The diversity in size charts fits, and brand variations make it confusing for customers and lead to many returns. Sizing from one brand simply does not match sizing from another. Furthermore, there can be discrepancies in size charts within the same brand. All in all, it has become incredibly perplexing for consumers to find the right size online, so it's not surprising that ordering the wrong size accounts for 58% of returns.

 

To reduce returns, online stores can consider relatively straightforward solutions (Returnista, 2023).


1. Size charts and size finder

Since ordering the wrong size is the primary reason for returns in the fashion retail industry (58%), updating and making size charts accurate on the webshop is a relatively simple but crucial step. However, the issue persists among brands, even with accurate size charts. To address this, a webshop may consider installing a size finder.


2. Optimize your product information and product detail page (PDP)

Since 28% of returns are caused by products being "different than expected," it's crucial to make the product detail page and information easily scannable and readable. This can be achieved by adding clear headings, answering common questions, and including product reviews. Additionally, providing information about the fabric and using various models can help customers get a better sense of the product. Ensure that all text is SEO-friendly.


3. Use high-quality product photos and videos

Utilizing high-quality and high-resolution photos and videos provides (potential) customers with a clear view of the product, aiding in creating a comprehensive understanding. 360° videos and photos can be an added bonus, offering a complete view of the product from all angles.


4. Provide excellent customer service

Addressing customer inquiries and streamlining your return process encourages customers to return to your online store. A study by PostNL (2019) reveals that customers who have had a poor return experience will not be returning customers in 75% to 100% of cases. In contrast, customers with a positive return experience are three times more likely to make a repeat purchase.


5. Analyze your return data

Examining the return data from your online store provides insights into the reasons for returns and potential strategies to reduce them in the future. Consider looking at the customer segment that returns items most frequently and gather information on a per-SKU/product basis. Acquiring insights about returns is often the first step in further analyzing effective approaches for your online store. Measure return data.


6. Optimize your webshop for mobile

Website traffic and orders through mobile devices have increased in recent years and continue to rise. Therefore, optimizing your webshop for customers on mobile phones is essential for reducing your returns. Consider earlier tips such as using high-quality photos/videos and product information.


All in all, reducing returns is crucial for the financial performance of your webshop. Want to learn more about how SizeBuddy can help reduce returns?




References:

- Post NL (2019). Retouren: Cruciaal voor online succes!. https://www.webwinkelvakdagen.nl/nl/programma/retouren-cruciaal-voor-online-succes-0


- Thuiswinkel.org, Shopping Tomorrow, Topsector Logistiek en TNO (2019-2020). Get Rid of Returns 2019-2020. https://www.shoppingtomorrow.nl/nl/themas/logistics/delivery-distribution/get-rid-of-returns


- Van de Poel, J.(2023). Hoe verlaag je je retourpercentage: 7 tips. https://www.returnista.nl/blog/retourpercentage-verlagen-tips







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