But Don't Customers Handle Returns?In the past it was on the consumer to pay for a return or to deal with the hassle. You would be the one heading to the store to go through the process, or you'd be packaging the product back up and paying the costs at the post office. However, with the growth of direct-to-customer business, and the growth of the eCommerce world, the "hassle-free" returns and exchanges policies are becoming increasingly common. With retail giant Amazon offering unheard of policies, many other eCommerce businesses are having to follow suit to compete.
Is a Return Policy Really an Issue?Some customers are ordering the same item(s) in multiple colours or sizes to figure out what they like the best, or what fits the best, and then returning the rest. Currently the return rates in physical stores are less than those of online retailers. Return rates are becoming unsustainable, especially for smaller brands. Brands are already having to compete with eCommerce giant Amazon, and Amazon is able to offer amazing policices. Because their focus is on growth, they're able to offer such generous policies.
What can be done?Rather than cutting a return policy entirely, brands can find better ways to offer returns or exchanges to their customer base. To combat these issues, some retailers have been increasing the average order size to qualify for free shipping. Some have been adding better measures to minimize fraud. Those retailers with physical locations are encouraging shoppers to exchange their products in the brick-and-mortar locations instead.
Other retailers won't offer you your money back, rather they will give you a credit for their store to spend that money on something else instead.