How to reduce your Return Rate with Product Customization - Productimize

Being a business owner, one of the horrifying truths in running an eCommerce store is handling product returns.

Compared to the previous year, a study from Brightpearl says that 40% of US and UK retailers have seen a projection in international returns. What’s even worse is that 70% of retailers stated the try-before-you-buy program led to more returns. If you ask 8 out of the 10 retailers, they don’t want to adapt to the try-before-you-buy program. For startups, it’s hard to manage since they may not have a proper workflow already.

How to reduce returns

These returns can be your worst nightmare, and it can cause a strong negative impact on your day-to-day business. For instance, they will just order a couple of items to figure out which size or color works for them and place a return for the rest of the products. This can also affect buyer behavior for expensive items. But in most cases, the returns happen due to mistakes made by the retailers.

30% of shoppers deliberately over-purchase and return the items that they don’t like, and then 19% admitted ordering multiple items so they can get a feel of how the actual product may look like. The Barclaycard research on the serial returners should give some insights on shoppers who intentionally over-order.

The Costs Involved:

So, what does this product return scenario cost your eCommerce store?

Costs involved

  • First and foremost, you’ve lost a sale. Second, of course, you lost a customer.
  • The free shipping is an investment. So, the free shipping and the return cost has made no sense now.
  • The return products can’t be put under the same new products criteria. It has to be inspected and moved to resale. Therefore, these liquidated products can’t be sold for the original price.
  • Overall, the time invested on the sale, manual back and forth conversation, returns processing, returns authorization forms and the refunds are not going to make sense now.

Customer Retention:

Returns, of course, reduce eCommerce growth considerably by causing churn. It all boils down to one thing – custom acquisition and retention. You need to know that new customer acquisition is seven times more expensive than generating business from the existing customers.


– How To Reduce The Return Rate –



Best Practices To Prevent Returns:

  1. Offering a flexible return policy can provide confidence and peace of mind.
  2. Using Customer Segmentation.
  3. Displaying high-quality product images.
  4. Providing 360-degree or 3D product views.
  5. Incorporating product reviews to help customers make a better-informed decision. PETCO reported a 20.3% lower return rate by offering reviews.
  6. Offering a feedback form for the returns and the reason why they’re returning the product. If possible, see how you can compensate for the same by offering a replacement or loyalty points for future purchases, etc.

Product Customization:

Product Customization case study_BlueSky

By offering a new solution like custom product lines can help the business to see a reduction in return rates. Merchants that are currently offering custom product lines reported a 40% decrease in product returns since the consumers know what they’re getting by visualizing the custom product which will eventually make it a personalized product close to the heart.

Productimize Ultimate comes with a rich dashboard and analytics through which you can monitor your custom product lines, and you can learn which custom elements are selling more so you can start planning accordingly based on consumer needs.

Other major benefits of Product Customization:

  • Personalized experience
  • Better customer loyalty
  • Cost-effective
  • Meaningful luxury items
  • Fewer returns
  • Generate more conversions and sales

If you are not ready to invest heavily or start immediately – a simple custom monogram and embroidery feature could be the right place for you to step into the customization world. Still wondering where to begin?

Check-out this 7 best product customization examples on how some of the top brands are utilizing the customization space to scale fast.


Shiva Kumaar

Shiva Kumaar

Shiva is the Strategy Manager leading the business efforts and global partnerships of DCKAP Digital Products. He is passionate about eCommerce and SaaS products, he loves tech startups. Regardless of the role, his blogs are unbiased. An avid gadget lover and a mobile enthusiast.

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Kassfret Recent comment authors

Thanks for this helpful post. Design learners like me are really grateful for that
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