Consumers want a great experience at all stages of the customer journey. At the point of purchase — and post — returns can be leveraged to increase basket conversion and customer loyalty.  Below are our top tips for providing a returns experience that reduces basket abandonment at checkout.

  1. Have a clear and accessible returns policy

According to Metapack research, 42% of consumers reported it difficult to find information about returns on an eCommerce website. [1] And, with a lack of clarity comes an increased risk of basket abandonment. Make sure that your returns policy is visible across different areas of your site, such as the homepage and product pages, as well as in email confirmation and on receipts.

  1. Offer free returns

Offering free returns is an incentive to reduce basket abandonment. In fact, 62% of consumers would buy again from a brand offering free returns or exchanges. [2] And 56% of Gen Z and 59% of Milennials would never shop with a retailer who didn’t offer free returns. [3] By providing even a basic free returns option, customers are more likely to convert basket to order.

  1. Provide flexible returns options that suit the local market

50% of 18-44 years say that a lack of choice of returns channels has resulted in them abandoning an online purchase. [4] You need to consider the consumer return preferences in local markets and ensure that you can provide these in order to reduce basket abandonment, whether this is posting returns, return to store, courier pick-up or another channel. For example, in France 50% of consumers prefer posting returns and 46% prefer to return their goods to store. And in Spain 47% of consumers prefer courier pick-up. By providing flexible returns options, you can ensure that you meet customer expectations at the point of purchase.

  1. Provide faster refunds

Delay in refund has been blamed as the major reason for dissatisfaction with the returns experience. [5]  But, by offering try before you buy and faster payment methods, such as Klarna or PayPal Credit, you can appeal to consumers and drive basket conversion. This is a powerful way to entice consumers who would be most adversely affected by a slow refund payments from returns, such as millennials.

  1. Ensure accurate product description and sizing information

The more accurate product information you can provide, the more confident customers feel at the point of purchase. ASOS provides detailed information on sizing based on previous purchases and Amazon’s ‘like’ feature captures consumer’s views on fits to indicate if the sizing is bigger or smaller than expected. This can reduce the amount of consumers that are ‘bracketing’ — buying several different sizes and returning the ones that don’t fit.

As well as reducing basket abandonment, the right returns strategy drives sales and increases customer loyalty. For more information about determining a winning strategy, download our latest eBook.

[1] State of eCommerce Delivery Report, Metapack

[2] Dotcom Distribution, 2018

[3] Klarna Rethinking Returns 2019

[4] State of eCommerce Delivery Report, Metapack

[5] Pulse of the Online Shopper, UPS