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The holidays are over (thankfully), and your ecommerce business is back to normal. Or, almost. It’s now returns season, and that can be almost as difficult for B2C businesses as the holidays themselves. Customers are trying to return gifts that are the wrong size, broken, unwanted, or otherwise flawed in some way. Because of this flurry of returns, it’s tempting to minimize the window your brand allows for returns. You may think that if you only let buyers return items after 2 weeks, you’ll have to deal with less volume and fewer returns overall. Actually, the opposite is true. Long return windows can be a huge boon for ecommerce brands. Allowing buyers to return items for a month or more can counterintuitively decrease the number of returns you see overall. How exactly? It all comes down to the Endowment Effect.

  • ML

    Mark Lindquist

    almost 2 years ago #

    Interesting concept, I haven't heard of this! I can see conceptually how this would work, but it would be cool to see some case studies of the difference in returns before and after an ecom company lengthened their return window.

    • CH

      Cara Hogan

      almost 2 years ago #

      Agreed! I couldn't find any ecommerce-focused data on it, unfortunately, but it is a well-researched phenomenon in psychology. (I link to a few of the academic papers in the post.)

      But in the future, I'd love to survey our customers and see if anyone has done this exact tactic and seen any results.

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