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More turnover through fewer returns

More turnover through fewer returns

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As an online retailer, you face a multitude of challenges that seem to evolve in complexity. In addition to providing an optimal shopping experience – prompt shipping, smooth delivery and competent customer service – there is one topic that seems to be a sticking point: returns management. Whether the customer does not like the goods, they do not fit, or they were ordered twice – today, customers expect a quick and easy return process. According to Statista, an uncomplicated return option is decisive for 43 percent of respondents in Germany when it comes to which online shop they buy from.

Checklist to improve your return rate:

  • Describe your products in detail
  • Create attractive product photos and/or videos
  • Provide product details as clearly as possible (such as the colour)
  • Use a powerful inventory management system
  • Use the Rule Builder to display individual content and offers to your customer groups

Legislation also has a clear view on this: it must be as easy as possible for customers to return anything they cannot touch in a store. This rule makes sense for the consumer, but also results in online retailers like yourself sometimes having to record high return rates. More than ever before, poor returns management can quickly prove to be the undoing of smaller online retailers, which is why we are giving you tips that you can implement today. Convenient service for customers is something of a balancing act for online retailers. If the retailer includes a return slip with the delivery, this sometimes seems like an invitation to send something back. If they do not include a return slip, the returns process quickly takes up more time, and therefore more money.

Avoid uncertainty with detailed product descriptions

The return rate is comparatively high in the fashion industry, where customers often order the same garment in different sizes or are unhappy with the material when it arrives. You can counteract this with a detailed product description. If customers can get comprehensive information on the size and quality of the garment in your online shop, they can decide with more certainty whether it will suit them and, if so, in what size. Of course, aspects such as high-quality photos and videos that clearly show the material and colour of the garment all help.

The product descriptions can also be adapted to other items that need explanation in other industries.

Best practice example: paulmann_licht-en

You can view a best practice example in the online shop of our customer Paulmann: The items are described comprehensively and yet in a way that is easy and quick to read. All the technical information is listed and can be downloaded as PDF, as can the assembly instructions. There are also attractive and informative product photos and videos, as well as links to additional accessories that might be needed.

You can find more tips for product descriptions in the blog posts on the topic of writing sales-boosting product descriptions

Display products that suit your customer

The importance of personalised offers in ecommerce has become well known. The variety of products on offer and existing online shops can cause the so-called paradox of choice among customers and paralyse rather than promote the purchase decision. This makes it all the more important to show the potential customer the right product at the right time.
Meanwhile, almost all shop systems offer the possibility to personalise the product range. Shopware 6 offers the possibility of addressing specific target groups with the Rule Builder and the Shopping Experiences. Based on rules, specific customer groups (for example, premium customers or new customers) can be presented with certain Shopping Experiences, layouts and offerings. In this way, you can convince them to buy with content that is individually tailored to them. This might not only reduce the returns rate – it could also sustainably increase the conversion rate.

Avoid incorrect deliveries with the right ERP

Another factor in reducing the return rate is avoiding incorrect deliveries. A scanner-based picking system or the right ERP helps to ensure that the items can be scanned easily and end up in the right package.

Through keeping these points in mind, you will succeed in improving your return rate. Unfortunately, you probably will not ever manage to completely reduce it to 0%. This makes it all the more important for you to continue the positive customer experience in your shop when the goods are delivered. After all, if you not only offer your customers a quick delivery but also a smooth returns process, you can boost your conversion rate in advance and look forward to returning customers. Pickware ERP Starter offers you the best possible support.

Additional tip: Implement a returns portal in your look & feel

Returns management: Customer service is a careful balancing act for shop owners. Does it make sense to attach a return label with every shipment? Either way, processing returns can quickly become costly.

Returns are especially expensive if the attached labels are not being used. Thus, a returns portal is a valuable extension to your shop. Customers can process the return themselves and even chose their preferred shipping service provider. This way, the return label is only printed when needed.

You can create an even better customer experience and strengthen your brand if you implement a returns portal into the look & feel of your online shop. This way you ensure that your customers do not get lost in the websites of external providers, e. g. DHL. Through individually designed tracking pages and your returns portal, you can maintain a better customer journey:


You can create your own returns portal using the shipcloud connector from our Community Store or a similar plugin.


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