How to Reduce Your Ecommerce Returns

By Mark Ching

Excessive returns will hurt your bottomline. Here’s how to stop that.


It is necessary for any online seller to allow returns. Not only it is required by the law, it is also a smart business decision. A 2012 survey indicated that 87% of shoppers prefer to buy from sites that have a return policy.

But it is understandable why many online sellers are adamant about returns. It is scary to think that every sale can be reversed, and that the daily profit is uncertain and never final.

Mitigate this concern by following the tips below:

1. Make sure your descriptions are extensive

Returns happen when the customer receives a product that may seem to be different from what they expect. Prevent this by making sure that your product descriptions are extensive. Add as many details as possible: item name, price, color, size, variant, quantity, and more.

2. Post a lot of photos

Pictures will also help customers adjust their expectations. Take and post photos of the item from all angles. It will also help if you use a common item for scale, so the customers would know its actual size.

3. Be responsive

Make sure that you can answer all questions of your customers. You should be able to communicate exact details about the item to inquiring customers so that they will be confident to close the purchase.

4. Take care on shipping

Lastly, returns may happen if the customer receives broken items. You are not in control while the item is being shipped, so you have to make sure that it is packed well. It’s better to add more bubble wrap or packing peanuts to your cost than to totally lose the sale when the product breaks at the courier.

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Mark Ching is the Marketing and Design Head of iRipple. He previously worked in various roles in Imonggo for 10 years, starting as a customer support officer then later as a product manager.

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