Unreturned items: What’s the impact for your ecommerce business?

Returns of goods often have a negative impact on your ecommerce business in terms of profitability and customer experience. If you sell within a global marketplace like Amazon or eBay, returns can affect your standing within the selling community in terms of rankings.
A recent survey by Doddle suggests that as much as £1.6 billion of unwanted purchases remain unreturned within UK households.

The reason for this waste of hard earned cash is people cannot be bothered to send items back:
• Too inexpensive to return
• Too time consuming to return
• The returns process is too complex

Whilst not having to process unwanted goods in the form of returns is clearly a win for ecommerce businesses in terms of costs. What is the hidden impact on your business?


Over a fifth of the people surveyed state they were too busy to return unwanted items to the online store and many of these people stated the returns processes were complex and time consuming. Clearly customers who have purchased goods, which are either faulty, or simply not what they want when they see them are unlikely to purchase from that etailer again. Similarly they may not have the time or inclination to return the goods but may have time to leave a few lines of bad feedback re the goods or the return process on your website. Neither of these outcomes is conducive to good customer relations or your sales profile within the marketplace.

So take a look at your returns process and ask yourself:
• Is it over complicated?
• Do you make it easy for your customers to return goods, by offering free returns and courier pick-ups of returns?

No one wants returns but they are part of the sales process and having a free, easy to use returns process improves the customer experience and makes it more likely the customers will buy from you again.

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