Handling returns as an e-retailer

New shopping habits affect the handling of returns

The shift from physical to digital commerce is largely due to Covid-19. It is reported almost daily that the number of digital purchases is increasing, largely due to (or perhaps because of) new shopping habits.

Requirements for new procedures for e-retailers

New habits require new routines. There is a growing demand for better and more flexible solutions, such as ordering/paying via an app for later pick-up in a shop or at a post office. The ability to return goods online is also increasingly in demand.

A recent report from the Confederation of Swedish Commerce states that the risk of returns is three times higher for goods purchased online, compared to goods purchased in a physical store. Sweden also has (generally speaking) more returns than other countries in Europe, according to the report.

Analyse the most common causes of returns

The fact that we are increasingly shopping online, both from abroad and within Sweden's borders, is putting great pressure on the existing retail network. A pressure that will in all likelihood continue even after the Corona crisis is over.

Preparing and developing new, innovative solutions for your e-commerce site now is being one step ahead. If you're already a PostNord business customer, you'll know that you can also handle complaints via our business portal Portal Business.

Measures to take for e-commerce operators

As a PostNord contract customer, you can integrate your webshop with our various plugins to clarify your checkout, generate automated shipping orders and notifications, print statistics for returns and much more.

You should also review the most common causes of returns by looking for recurring patterns and behaviours. Then analyse the results and take the necessary action immediately.

The following aspects can form the basis for an analysis:

  • Are there items that are returned more often than others?
  • Can customers fill in the reason for return on the return slip?
  • If the return reason is not filled in - how can you change it?
  • Can you clarify your product descriptions?
  • Do you have good enough product images?
  • Can you get access to an image bank or press photos?
  • Is all practical information on the website easy to read?
  • Can the conditions for repurchases and returns be improved?
  • Are there other procedures that can be simplified/improved?

Simplify, clarify, improve

Three key words to keep in mind when reviewing the above points. It is extremely important that the information on the website/webshop is accessible, easy to read and up to date; transparency, clear instructions and well-formulated content increase confidence in both the product and the company behind it.

It is also important that it is easy and convenient to return a package. This means, among other things, that it must be easy to fill in a return form, but also that it must be clear how to return a parcel. How should it be packed? Where should it be left? When is the refund? Is it possible to change size/to another product? These are questions that should ideally be answered before they arise.

Frequently asked questions about returns

Do I have to offer returns?

If the goods are bought in a physical store, it is not the law to offer open purchase. If the goods are purchased via the Internet, the law on distance contracts applies, which means 14 days' right of withdrawal/return.

Is it standard to offer returns as an e-retailer?

It looks a bit different, but many choose to offer open purchase and free returns as a form of extra service.

Can I handle returns via PostNord?

Yes, as a contract customer you can manage your returns via our business tool Portal Business.