return reasons

Top Return Reasons in eCommerce and How to Solve them

It’s exciting when a purchase is made on your eCommerce store. But some of those purchases will be ultimately returned due to various return reasons. According to reports, nearly 30% of online purchases end up being returned as compared to 8% in brick-and-mortar stores. Why is the percentage of returns higher for online stores? The reason is simple – customers purchasing items online lack physical contact with the items during check out resulting in a gap between the expectation and reality.  

 Dealing with eCommerce returns can be frustrating, but not allowing returns for your store is not the answer. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to reduce returns and enhance customer experience. And one of the major ways is to identify the key return reasons.  

In this article we will take you through the top 5 most common return reasons and how you can handle them to reduce return rate for your brand- 

Product Description not Matching Expectation

This is one of the most common return reasons eCommerce store owners often struggle with. For instance, your store deals with apparel and product listing says ‘100% Cotton Black Trousers for Men.’ The customer who is looking to purchase such an item would go by your product description and make a purchase. Unfortunately, he receives a trouser of blended fabric instead of a ‘100% cotton’. The next step for the customer to take is RETURN. While this was one type of an example, several items are returned because the product photos do not match the reality.  

According to a report by, nearly 64% of customers returned an item in 2020 because the item did not match the description on site. This number clearly indicates the importance of providing right information and product images so that buyers are making informed purchase decisions.  

How to Solve it? 

To reduce the number of returns caused due to mismatch of expectations, make sure you provide the accurate information of your product to customers. Click photographs of the item from all angles, show textures and describe materials instead of just naming them. You can also include videos of your items in product descriptions which will be a boon for your business. Whatever you sell, a video will tell much more about the item.  

EcoReturns performs AI-powered product tagging, ensures the product descriptions match the real product to reduce returns for your business and increase customer loyalty.

Incorrect Size/Fitment Issue

According to a report, merchandize worth $62.4 billion was returned in the US last year due to ‘wrong size’ issue. This clearly shows how an incorrect sized item can impact your eCommerce business. Many a times, the product size mentioned in the description doesn’t match the actual size of the item. This is what causes the customer to return the product. Here’s how you can solve the issue- 

How to Solve it? 

Categorizing your goods into small, medium, and large is not enough. Think of a detailed description of each size. It’s best to display the exact dimensions of your products. In case you sell apparel that you don’t make yourself, make sure your size chart works for different items, and if not, add a separate size chart for each of them. 

If your size chart is not comprehensive enough, customers can simply leave the store without a purchase, or, on the contrary, order several sizes to return those that didn’t fit. 

Sometimes it’s not your size chart that is to blame. Customers may be wrong about what size they need. That often happens with shoes. The solution to that is to ask customers to associate themselves not with an impersonal size chart, but with some real people. 

Item Damaged or Broken

Report suggests nearly 80% of customers cited their return reason as ‘item damaged’ in the US. It’s an absolute turn off for customers when they receive a damaged item on their doorstep which leaves them with no other option but to return. Most often an item is damaged in handling during transit. Let us take a look at how you can solve the issue- 

How to Solve it? 

In order to reduce the number of instances where your customer returned the item because it was damaged, take utmost care of the packaging. Check the background of your delivery partner; analyse how many returns were being made due to ‘damaged item’ through that delivery partner.  

If you sell fragile products, it’s not only necessary to pack them carefully but also to provide an easy way for a customer to pack them back so that the product isn’t broken on its way back. Consider adding guidelines of how to wrap your product for returns and make this a condition for accepting the return. 

Holiday Season

With the holiday season, comes the intense urge to shop. Unfortunately, many of the purchases end up in being returned because most of them were impulsive shopping due to huge discounts offered by online stores. Moreover, it is a gifting season where you get gifts that you don’t need.  huge discounts offered by online businesses encourage shoppers to shop more during the holiday season. If you take part in holiday sales, expect higher return rates than usual. United Parcel Service Inc. announced that returns jump up with 15% during holiday seasons. Some retailers state 50% return rates. 

How to Solve this? 

After the holiday season ends, managing those returns can become your #1 task. Make sure your team is trained and your return policy is clear. 

Final Say

Your ultimate goal is to make customers happy, even if they returned their order. Not only will they come to buy again, but they will also spread the word about your services and attract more customers. Choose EcoReturns today to delight your customers with a self-service returns portal and provide a seamless returns & exchanges process.