Using returns as a retention strategy in a post-COVID-19 world

The global pandemic brought on by COVID-19 has created a tremendous amount of uncertainty for retailers. Online merchants are weary of spending million-dollar marketing budgets on customer acquisition when the economic future is so uncertain. As a result, many industry experts are encouraging e-commerce companies to focus their strategies on current customer retention vs. spending on customer acquisition.

Key to this strategy is the implementation of a near-flawless return process. A survey by e-commerce payment company Fast found that, as of late April 2020, 89% of US shoppers were anxious about shopping in physical stores. With such high numbers of consumers still turning to online shopping, returns are expected to increase at a steady pace, if not inflate to the high numbers experienced during December holidays and Cyber Monday.

In order to succeed, retailers will need more than a clearly defined return policy, they’ll need a system that won’t break when it comes to managing inventory and refunds. Every action will need to focus on the customer and give them a reason to boost their commitment to the brand. One way to achieve this without severely cutting into margins is by offering return shipping insurance.

Return shipping insurance puts control in the hands of the consumer, enabling them to insure the cost of return shipping for a minimal fee. There’s no guesswork, no unforeseen costs, and best of all — no loss of loyalty. Provide your customers with the certainty they crave while building repeat business by giving them the opportunity to choose whether or not to purchase return shipping insurance.


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