Clever returns management – how to increase your netsales

For online retailers, returns are a major challenge that require more cost, time and planning. The lowest possible returns rate is therefore the declared goal of all e-commerce entrepreneurs. So we give you important tips on how to reduce returns and also show you how to increase customer satisfaction by processing returns professionally. Because returns management has become an important key success factor in e-commerce.

To ensure that customers get their money back as quickly as possible, online retailers are ahead of the game with well thought-out returns processes and digitalised workflows.

Four steps to fewer returns:

1. Detailed product information with photos & videos

False expectations generate returns. If customers don’t get what you want, send it back. The more accurate your product information, the fewer the returns. For textiles, it means describing materials and fits accurately. If articles turn out larger or smaller than usual, this information is important. In addition, high-resolution photos and videos prevent misunderstandings and thus returns.

2. AI-based purchase recommendations & digital processes

The better the purchase recommendations in your shop are, the lower the return rate will be. Professionals use recommendation engines for this. These AI-based, self-learning algorithms generate precisely tailored purchase recommendations for your customers. Do you have real-time access to your inventory, order and returns data? Only a fully automated real-time data exchange between ERP, online shop, marketplaces and stock management enables you to immediately recognise changes in returns behaviour and react quickly. Digitised workflows also ensure that your customers get their money back quickly.

3. Comprehensive customer service

Live chat functions or telephone advice from qualified service agents play an important role in avoiding returns. Because many customers have questions that they would like to clarify in a personal dialogue, despite a comprehensive presentation in the online shop. Ideally, perfect customer care services not only prevent returns, but also exploit cross-sell and up-sell potential.

4. The last mile to the customer

Whether toys, electronic products or high-priced lifestyle items – fulfilment plays an important role in reducing returns. Quality assurance before shipping has a great influence on the return rate. Here, for example, it should be checked whether the products are sent in the right size, colour and in perfect condition. If customers receive a wrong or defective product, follow-up purchases are not made. Another point that is often underestimated is the packaging. The more individual and high-quality it is, the lower the return rate will be. Whether you send your goods in a plastic bag or in an originally wrapped tin makes a big difference. Unboxing pays directly into the returns rate.

Those who have their return rate under control benefit from higher netsales and top ratings.

Would you like to learn more about our returns management?
Then contact Ute Weickel-Oudot (

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