New report – Rethinking returns: Strategies to turn ecommerce returns challenges into opportunities

2 minute read

Ecommerce returns are the classic double-edged sword. When done right, they can enhance customer satisfaction, boost sales and foster loyalty. But excessive returns can spell trouble, consuming time and money while impacting profit margins. Plus, they harm the environment when they end up in landfills.

Our latest ecommerce report aims to help you develop a returns strategy that balances the needs of your business, your customers and our planet. It’s based on a series of surveys with Canadian online shoppers and merchants that explores their experiences, challenges and expectations related to ecommerce returns.

Turn ecommerce returns challenges into opportunities

Download the report

A man stands in a warehouse, looking at a clipboard, as he pulls an inventory item from a large metal shelf.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

Customer-friendly returns

Crafting a customer-friendly return policy is crucial for ecommerce success. A hassle-free returns process can boost sales, customer acquisition and customer loyalty.

Strategies for success

  • Make returns effortless: Boost sales and loyalty by offering a seamless return experience.
  • Offer choice: Provide flexibility in return processes to empower customers.
  • Stay connected: Ensure consistent, transparent communication throughout the return process.

Environmentally sustainable returns

Each year, more than 2 billion kilograms of waste is generated through returns – and online shoppers are taking note. They’re concerned about the environmental consequences of ecommerce returns and are looking into what retailers do with returned items.

Strategies for success

  • Prevent returns by addressing concerns: Understand and address reasons for returns to prevent them.
  • Encourage efficient packaging: Promote reusable packaging to reduce waste.
  • Give returns a second life: Consider restocking, recycling or donating returned items.

Profitable returns

It’s no secret that returns pose financial challenges. Even when items are returned in good condition, the process still incurs expenses due to labour, transportation and inspection. On top of these costs, returns fraud adds another layer of financial burden. Balancing customer expectations and financial sustainability is crucial.

Strategies for success:

  • Shorten return windows: Reduce return eligibility periods to minimize costs.
  • Share return costs: Ask customers to shoulder a portion of their return shipping fees.
  • Implement a cost-to-serve model: Tailor return policies based on customer behavior.

Let’s rethink your returns strategy – together!

Download our Returns Guide to discover more strategic insights, and then reach out to a Canada Post representative to see how we can help.

Read our returns report

Download our new report, Rethinking returns, for advice on how to craft a return strategy that’s right for your business, your customers and our planet.

Get the report