Reducing Returns with Product Reviews

Written by: Tone Loberg
Posted on: March 6, 2023

Ecommerce and returns go hand in hand. Each year, the number of returns grows. In fact, the online return rate is three times higher than that of physical stores. Why is this the case, and how can product reviews help curb this trend?

Understanding the Dual Challenge of Returns

E-commerce’s explosive growth results in more shipping, more packaging, and, consequently, more returns. This not only puts financial stress on companies but also strains the environment. This trend has sparked a push for sustainability. Many online sellers are now focusing on streamlining their processes, cutting down unnecessary shipping, and improving return handling.

A simple but effective solution? Improve product descriptions, especially when it comes to aspects like size and fit. This empowers consumers to make informed online purchases.

Tactics to Curb Returns Using Product Reviews:

  1. Empower Customers with a Voice: People value the opinions of their peers. Giving customers a platform to share genuine feedback fosters a sense of community around a product or brand. This feedback is useful not just for past customers but also for potential buyers looking to make informed decisions.
  2. Assist in Making the Right Decisions: Beyond boosting website traffic and conversion rates, customer reviews offer priceless product insights. This ensures customers make the best choice from the outset. Jonny Hansen, COO at Lipscore, points out, “When prospective customers read reviews, they can adjust their choices based on real user experiences. This often prevents the need for returns.” He further introduces Lipscore’s Product Attributes feature that aids this process.
  3. Enhance Product Descriptions: Receiving reviews is great, but acting on them is crucial. Brands that engage with reviews, both positive and negative, bolster their credibility. Use insights from reviews to refine product descriptions, making them more relatable and authentic. It not only breathes life into product listings but also showcases in-depth product knowledge.
  4. Refine Product Offerings: Product reviews are also treasure troves of data for evaluating and updating a product line. If a product garners consistently poor reviews, it’s time to reconsider its place in the catalog. Consider using the feedback for product development or even phasing out underperforming products altogether.
  5. Set the Right Expectations: Authentic feedback allows brands to match their product representation with the real customer experience. High-quality product images, showcasing various facets of the product, further boost this alignment. Jonny Hansen emphasizes, “Comprehensive information in your online store reduces returns. Moreover, minimizing returns positively impacts the environment by cutting back on processing and shipping.”

In the world of e-commerce, returns are inevitable. However, with genuine reviews and accurate product portrayals, companies can mitigate their frequency and foster a more sustainable shopping environment.

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