Minimising Returns Costs

A HUBBED survey conducted in 2020 found that over 35% of Australians returned their online Christmas purchases. We may be well and truly beyond December, but we still think it’s important for retailers to be aware of the costs and policies of their return – no matter the time of year.

David McLean, CEO, and Founder of HUBBED says, “The financial costs of refunds and returns can be staggering for an online retailer. Poor refund policies can make online shoppers cautious, while poor returns systems can eat into profits and cost online retailers more than the original sale. Difficult returns processes can also impact a brand – if returning an item is just too hard, consumers will remember next time they’re shopping online and go elsewhere.”

The logistics of managing returns is just one aspect of eCommerce operations to consider. The associated costs of shipping, returning and preparing a refunded item for sale can reduce profits significantly once all associated returns processes are considered.

Here are David’s top tips for minimising return costs:

  1. Ensure you have a strong refund policy in place. A sound returns policy gives confidence to the buyer and can be the difference between converting a visitor to a customer.
  2. An easy-to-follow returns model. A streamlined refund process, complete with clear instructions for returning purchases offers peace of mind and helps combat buyer hesitancy.
  3. Consider Collection Points. Identifying a convenient returns drop-off location can improve purchase return logistics and reduce retailers’ costs in several ways. Couriers offering large volume pick-ups from one location are quicker and cheaper than retail postage, as well as being more sustainable as there’s less traffic on the roads. In addition, retailers can offer a refund as soon as a parcel is secured, ensuring a better brand experience.

HUBBED connects with most major eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, Neto, WooCommerce and BigCommerce. Carrier partners include and Toll, TNT, FedEx, UPS, Sendle, DHL, Seko Logistics, Royale International and Couriers Please. HUBBED’s agnostic service allows retailers to use their preferred courier or delivery partner. When purchasing from a HUBBED retail partner, the consumer can simply nominate their preferred HUBBED pick up location for Click and Collect orders. For returns, the consumer registers their return item through the retailer’s customised HUBBED returns portal, then drops the parcel off at their nearest HUBBED location.

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