FedEx + EasyPost Webinar: Mastering the Returns Game
by Jaidyn Farar
A few weeks ago, and joined forces to record a webinar all about returns. Co-hosts Lori Boyer and Elizabeth Malone discussed why the returns process is a crucial element of your business, diving into customer expectations and opinions.
The webinar is packed with statistics, practical tips, and best practices—and now, we’re sharing some of that knowledge in written form!
Returns statistics you should know
Returns have become an integral—and unavoidable—part of ecommerce. When you handle them the right way, you enhance the customer experience, increase sales, and boost repeat business.
- In 2023, 14.5% of merchandise purchased online (representing $743 billion in value) was returned.
- Ninety-six percent of consumers would shop again if they have a good returns experience.
- Convenient returns can result in over 25% revenue growth.
- Seventy-four percent of consumers feel retailers’ returns experience needs to improve.
- For 27% of online shoppers, the flexibility of return policies matters when deciding to shop with an online retailer.
Where should the returns policy be located on your site?
Your returns policy should be easy to find on your website. Because most businesses link to their policy from the footer, customers tend to look for it there. But that doesn’t need to be the policy’s only home! To minimize checkout abandonment, remind customers of your return policy on the checkout page. If your policy is flexible and generous, it will give them the confidence to proceed with the purchase.
How can you minimize returns?
Research shows that having a flexible, convenient returns process is a great way to boost conversion rates and bring in more repeat customers. But too many returns hurt your business’s bottom line. How can you discourage returns without making your policy too strict?
Elizabeth suggests focusing on high-quality product imagery. When people understand how a product looks and works, they’re more likely to be satisfied with what they receive. Comparison imagery is particularly helpful. Rather than showing photos of your products on a blank background, feature them in an everyday context.
What’s the best way to charge for returns?
While a majority of customers prefer shopping with merchants who offer free returns, more and more businesses are beginning to charge for returns. Requiring customers to pay a restocking fee or cover shipping charges can discourage returns—but will it drive potential buyers away?
If you want to charge for returns, move forward cautiously. One solution Lori and Elizabeth discuss is offering free returns as a loyalty benefit. This has two advantages. First, you help your marketing efforts by encouraging people to sign up for your loyalty program. Second, you can discourage returns without implementing a blanket charge.
What are the elements of a great return policy?
What qualities does a good returns policy have? FedEx has identified several essential elements based on customer feedback:
- Easy to find
- Easy to follow
- Free shipping
- Easy to print labels (no-label options)
- Hassle-free (no-box options)
Elizabeth emphasizes the importance of no-label and no-box options. While it seems like shipping returns back would be the most convenient for customers, that’s often not the case. Many people don’t want to find packaging, and even more don’t have a printer at home to print a return shipping label.
Consider offering a more convenient option. If you have retail stores, allow customers to bring returns back in person. If you don’t have retail stores, look into in-person returns at carrier locations. These in-person dropoff options eliminate the need for people to package their products or print their own labels, making the returns process much smoother.
Watch the full webinar
This blog has given you a small taste of the webinar, but the insights don’t end here! Watch the full recording to learn more about the following:
- Top customer pain points when it comes to returning products
- Returns and sustainability
- Solutions to streamline the returns process
- How to handle return shipping (and the associated costs)