The ability to quickly whisk purchases straight to a customer’s home or workplace has become a competitive differentiator for many businesses. But not every product meets buyers’ expectations, and that means returns are inevitable. Rates of returned goods are on the rise. Retail returns climbed to an average of 16.6% in 2021, up from 10.6% in 2020. Rates are even higher (20.8%) for e-commerce returns, which are more frequent because customers cannot try on or touch the goods before buying them.

Smooth and easy returns are an important part of the brand experience and can make a meaningful impact on customer satisfaction. But many current returns processes can be a hassle for customers: The customer must print a label, repackage the item, and then transport it to a parcel delivery service or drive to a store or returns center.

To make returns easier for customers, a growing number of businesses are leveraging crowdsourcing to offer returns pick ups at customers’ homes or offices.

A complicated returns process can affect shoppers’ buying behavior. A survey by Narvar found that 77% of first-time shoppers who had an “easy” or “very easy” returns experience would shop at that retailer again. However, 39% of shoppers won’t buy a product if they can’t find the return policy, and 28% will skip the purchase if they have to contact support to make a return, Narvar found.

E-commerce leaders that led the way in streamlining buying processes and shortening delivery times took market share from those who lagged. Returns processes are expected to evolve the same way.

To make returns easier for customers, a growing number of sellers are offering to pick up returns at customers’ homes or offices. They are leveraging crowdsourcing, tapping a network of drivers ready to pick up a returned item at a moment’s notice. By doing so, these sellers are taking friction out of returns, improving the customer experience, fostering brand loyalty and lowering returns costs.

Download this playbook to learn how:

  1. To expand the returns options available to customers
  2. To identify strategies that reduce returns costs
  3. To elevate the returns customer experience