Should retailers be looking to take advantage of free return shipping? – RetailWire













Should retailers be looking to take advantage of free return shipping? – RetailWire







Should retailers be looking to take advantage of free returns?

Discussion

Source: J.Crew / Narvar

08 Oct 2021

“from Narvar”Benchmark Performance Report 2021”Finds that some retailers are taking advantage of free online returns in a variety of ways, including to incentivize faster returns, turn online redemptions into store credit, and to support their loyalty efforts.

Among the strategies:

  • Free online returns for a limited time: Saks Fifth Avenue offers free returns for the first 14 days of purchase and then subtracts $ 9.95 from the refund amount as a return shipping cost. Lulus, the women’s clothing e-commerce retailer, offers free return for 10 days and charges a $ 7 fee thereafter. Attractive early returns give retailers the flexibility to restock merchandise for another sale while keeping shipping costs down.
  • Free Online Store Credit Returns: ThredUP, the online consignment retailer, and Dollskill, the online clothing retailer, both offer free shipping on returns, but offer merchandise credit instead of a refund. With this method, retailers still cover the shipping cost but don’t lose the sale.
  • Free online returns as a loyalty benefit: Several retailers offer tiered policies around free shipping to provide special amenities to VIP customers. For example, Home Depot loyalty members get 365 days of free shipping for returns versus 90 days for non-members. Likewise, Target offers 120 days of free online returns for members versus 90 days for non-members; Best buy, 30 days versus 15 days; and DSW, 365 days versus 90 days.

by Narvar analysis of return policies from 197 retailers found that only 36 percent offered free shipping on returns. The benefit was much more common in large stores than in smaller ones. Among the discoveries:

  • Of the 11 Fortune 50 retailers analyzed, all covered shipping costs on returns.
  • Of the 82 omnichannel retailers analyzed, 45% covered shipping costs on returns.
  • Of the 104 D2C retailers analyzed, only 22% covered shipping costs on returns.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you feel about using free shipping on returns to incent buyer behavior and / or build customer loyalty? Are there particular uses of free returns on online orders that you favor over others?

Braintrust

“Free online returns for paying (Premium) loyalty members should be an integral part of the deal. “

wpDiscuz
Braintrust

“Free online returns for paying (Premium) loyalty members should be an integral part of the deal. “

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