Today's e-commerce returns experiences impact tomorrow's customer loyalty

2 minute read

Canadian businesses of all sizes invest a great deal of time, money and energy into attracting browsers, and converting them into buyers But at the end of the day, it’s customer retention that really determines if a business will be a success. if a customer isn’t completely satisfied with their purchase, allowing them to easily and successfully return it can mean the difference between whether they stay loyal to your business or head stray for the competition.

Our recent survey of Canadian online shoppers revealed that e-commerce returns represent the biggest gap between what online shoppers expect, and what merchants offer. Building strategies to close this gap could mean changes to your existing policies and practices. But it’s a moment of truth for customer retention, and a deciding factor for subsequent business.

If businesses want their online shopping experience to be a positive extension of their brand, they need to understand, and be sensitive to, online shopper expectations. The more you know your customer, their expectations, and what they value in their online shopping experience (including returns), the better off your business will be.

Are you willing to wager a third of your customer base by ignoring the opportunity to improve your returns process?

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The most common returns challenges

In many cases, a few changes to your existing policy can transform a mediocre returns experience into a great one. Identifying your customers’ challenges and taking proactive steps to address them will increase the likelihood that they’ll make repeat purchases.

How returns can affect customer satisfaction and future sales

In a fast-changing e-commerce landscape, where merchants are constantly competing for online shoppers’ share of wallet, the returns experience becomes an important extension of your acquisition efforts. Establishing the ideal returns experience is crucial to turning a one-time online shopper into a loyal customer. Remember, 1 in 3 Canadians said they wouldn’t purchase from the same merchant again after having a negative returns experience. If you don’t examine and improve a poor approach to returns, your negligence will ultimately hurt the business.

In the last 12 months, 1 in 4 Canadians said they had a less-than-satisfactory returns experience. Ask yourself if your policy provides the clarity, simplicity and convenience that online shoppers expect. If not, you may miss out on future sales if you don’t improve it.

Returns solutions that work

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