10 excellent e-commerce return experiences and why they work

10 excellent e-commerce return experiences and why they work

Ana Martinez

Ana Martinez

October 18, 2021

Returns are a fact of life for any business. No matter how hard you try to accurately describe your items or help customers choose the right size/model, you'll still have to deal with returns. That's why having a well-thought-out return policy is so important - it shows your customers that you care about their satisfaction and makes their shopping experience with your business a positive one.

To avoid returns harming your profitability or brand image, you need to be as accommodating and flexible as possible. Remember that 6 out of 10 customers will read your terms and conditions of sale and return before placing their order online.

Don't worry. You don't have to start from scratch! We've compiled 10 inspiring examples of successful product return policies for you. Plus, we've included tips for adapting them to your business. Take a look and find the perfect return policy for your brand.

1. Asphalte's excellent product return policy

Asphalte's return policy is just as impressive as their best-selling "the perfect sweater." Launched less than 5 years ago, they go the extra mile to make returns easy for their customers.

What's unique about Asphalte's innovative return policy? They send a courier to pick up products to be exchanged or returned directly from the customer's home or workplace. This saves customers time and hassle but is only available to Parisians and residents of the inner suburbs.

Bigblue tips

Asphalte's return policy is an 
excellent example for clothing brands to follow. By offering this service, they can reduce the number of returns and make the most of their investment. If you're in the clothing industry, consider implementing a similar strategy to improve your customer's post-purchase experience.

2. Tediber: simplifying product returns, even for bulky items

Delivery and returns of bulky products like mattresses can be a challenge. That's why Tediber's return policy is so impressive. The French sleep essentials brand gives customers 100 nights (instead of the mandatory 14 days) to decide if they want to keep their mattress. They also make it easy to return the product by scheduling a pickup at the customer's home. 

Bigblue tips

Follow Tediber's lead and
 ensure that the products you'll take back for free and at pick up directly from the client's home are in good condition. The brand asks clients to send photos of the mattress or box spring before approving the refund request. Another good practice they follow is that returned products are reconditioned and donated to charities. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

3. Adidas: size exchanges without headaches

Adidas' Returns policy

Adidas' return policy is designed to address the most common problem their customers encounter -choosing the right shoe size! After carefully analyzing customer feedback, they've established a policy that makes it easy to exchange shoes for a different size. No more headaches when trying to find the perfect fit!

Thanks to their detailed customer feedback analysis, Adidas has made it easy to exchange shoes for a different size.

They don't require customers to print out a return label and have even created a platform dedicated to tracking orders and managing returns. This helps preserve their brand identity and gives customers confidence. Plus, they're refunded in less than a week - talk about fast service!

Bigblue tips

Learn from Adidas and be proactive in preventing returns. They give accurate sizing advice to keep returns to a minimum. For example, they let customers know which models run small and suggest the correct size based on the pairs the customer usually buys. By providing this information, they can help customers make the right choice and avoid the need for returns.

Even better, use Bigblue's returns solution to win customers for life. Offer store credit to retain revenue, hassle-free and printerless returns!

4. Zalando: send back your article in the same package

Zalando's returns policy

Zalando's returns policy is designed to make the process as simple and painless as possible: "there are no risks when you buy from us". They allow customers to return products in the same packaging and even provide the necessary scotch tape to close it. Aditionally, orders are shipped within 48 hours, making the whole experience smooth and seamless. This encourages customers to shop with them again and again.

Bigblue tips

Boost your sales by removing any barriers to purchase that buyers may encounter online. Zalando's tried-and-true strategy lets customers order items, try them on at home, and only pay if they fit or like them. However, 
this can also result in more return requests. Be prepared with a transparent and fair return policy to handle these situations and keep customers satisfied.

5. Sézane's product return management

Sezane's returns policy

Sézane, like all successful online clothing stores, had to create a strong product return policy. Even though they only offer a few extra days beyond the legal time limit for returns (15 days instead of the 14 required by European law), they allow customers to return items directly in-store (when applicable). 

Bigblue tips

Make returns as easy as possible for your customers by simplifying the process
. Sézane, for example, provides the return label in the package and refunds the order within 10 working days. Making returns quick and painless will keep customers happy and encourage repeat business.

6. Asos: avoid returns abuses

Asos' returns policy

When it comes to returns, it's important to be generous but not too generous. Asos learned this the hard way when they had to deal with a high volume of returns. Now, customers can return items up to 45 days after their purchase. However, if they start a return after 28 days, customers will receive a voucher for the same amount instead of a refund. This helps balance customer satisfaction with managing returns.

The brand has also set up a blacklist of customers with too many return requests (using an algorithm system). And has added large, flashy tags that can't be removed to prevent returned pieces from being worn. 

Bigblue tips

Balancing customer satisfaction with profitability is key when it comes to managing returns
. Be flexible with your customers, but be careful to maintain your profitability. Consider what actions will generate the most satisfaction while minimizing your operating margin.

7. Allbirds: transparent return management

Allbirds' returns policy

Allbirds is a great example of how to manage product returns effectively. The brand is transparent about its return policy (30 days without having to justify the request). It keeps customers updated on their order status with automatic notifications at every step. Providing clear information and regular updates, Allbirds keeps customers happy and builds trust.

Bigblue tips

Allbirds provides an excellent model for managing product returns. 
Returns are free online and in-store; customers can choose their carrier to pick up their packages at home. By making the process simple and convenient, Allbirds maximizes customer satisfaction and increases its chances of retaining customers.

8. Moea: reconverting customers who wish to return items

MoEA's return's policy

Moea's return policy is designed to maximize customer loyalty without cutting into margins. Customers can receive a refund within 30 days if they want to return an item. But after that, instead of losing the customer, Moea offers them store credit to use on their site. This clever strategy keeps customers happy and loyal!

Bigblue tips

Moea's return policy is a great way to retain customers and avoid losing them to the competition. By offering store credit for returned items after the 30-day refund period, Moea can win back customers. With the help of Bigblue for logistics and returns management, Moea makes the process seamless and stress-free for customers.

9. Amazon marketplace product return: a detailed and flexible return policy

Amazon's returns policy

Amazon is known for having one of the friendliest product return policies in the e-commerce world. In particular, we recommend that you use it to:

  • Make return and refund information easily accessible.  Amazon has a dedicated area on its site, where consumers can browse a considerable amount of resources and find answers to almost any question they have;
  • Offer quick and easy returns. When users click on the "Returns and Replacements" link, Amazon gives them an accurate step-by-step overview of the process. The e-commerce giant also guarantees that they won't have to contact support for the most straightforward requests;
  • Define a reasonable refund policy. To build customer loyalty and improve their experience, Amazon is making its conditions more flexible. Refunds vary depending on the state of the item, the time it took to place the order, and the method of purchase used;
  • Assume full responsibility (even for third-party sellers). The A to Z guarantee protects the platform's customers, even for a product purchased from a third-party seller;
  • Think in terms of customer satisfaction (and retention). An unpleasant product return experience automatically affects retention rates. Amazon ensures that even unhappy consumers continue to order from the site by making it as simple as possible!

10. Jimmy fairly

JImmy Fairly's returns policy

To facilitate the return of its products, the eyewear manufacturer Jimmy Fairly has created a dedicated portal. This "return portal" allows customers to enter their order number and organize its forwarding via Colissimo. The procedure remains available on the website to keep users on the platform and offer them a branded, more qualitative experience. 

They facilitate returns in-store (within 30 days) and from abroad!

Bigblue tips

The simplicity and transparency you facilitate product returns on your online store will have a powerful, persuasive effect on your future customers. Your policy will encourage them to validate their cart since, if they need to, it will be easy for them to return their order and get a refund. 

Among the good practices we have just presented, remember to :

  • Refund your customers as quickly as possible to improve their experience and prevent any potential damage to your brand;
  • Communicate as effectively as possible in the event of a return request. Good customer service avoids frustration and protect your reputation.

Explore Bigblue's returns management portal to streamline the e-commerce brands' return process.A branded returns portal to offer a seamless and hassle-free experience for their customers. Want to know more? Get in touch with our team for a demo.

Bigblue's returns portal

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