Easy steps, how can you reduce returns in e-commerce?

reduce returns in e-commerce

As online shopping continues to grow, it will continue to gain momentum in 2020. In the near future, it will continue to conquer new market segments. Many online stores suffer from a high number of returns during this online boom, which creates problems and expenses for businesses. Barclaycard reports that UK shoppers return 7 billion GBP each year in the UK alone. We are going to examine the origins of most returns and identify 11 easy steps you can take to overcome the problem with the help of product photography in this article.


What are the reasons for returning products?

The most common reasons for product returns given by customers are related to the accuracy of the product description, according to SaleCycle’s research. 80.2% of respondents cited delivery damage or a broken product as the main reason, while 64.2% cited an inconsistent description and 37.2% expressed dissatisfaction with the product. 

Research has also shown the importance of product information in a listing. In the Shotfarm survey, 42% of respondents returned a product due to poor quality.

Although product return rates vary by product category, product information plays a critical role in how online shoppers perceive a product. The features, textures, colors, and descriptions of a product help e-shoppers create a mental picture of it.

The unboxing of the product confronts the customer’s imaginations about the product. The product is returned to the warehouse if the disproportion is too large. I think it’s worth mentioning that both too poor and too good product presentations can create a disproportion large enough for a customer to return it.

There will always be buyers who can be classified as notorious overshoppers and those who take advantage of returns to gain first-hand product experience without the intention of keeping everything. It is certain that listing improvements will benefit the other clients, those who are confused.

A better and more informative visual content will help fill in any gaps in descriptions. Questions about scale, texture, and product use will be answered through still images, 360° spins, or videos. 

How can we create more appealing and truthful visual content?

It’s what you see that’s what you get!

What you see is what you get, is already known as the first principle of all possible improvements. The key is to present your online shoppers with a realistic image of the draco product. 

Have you ever had the experience of receiving a product that did not meet your expectations set by a shop’s online listing? How about a lilac shoe instead of a crimson one? And a bag that’s smaller than you thought? How does a product photo match reality? How much marketing creativity can conceal the truth? The photographer will then put all your reflections into action.

A graphically designed illustration or computer rendering will not be used. As well as a fond loyalty to the rule of one picture conveying more information (and more effectively!) than a lengthy description. 

Let’s take a closer look at photo composition and exposure.

Demonstrate your product

Plan the product image to display the most important features, including all the switches and functionalities. When the photo stays sharp throughout the entire depth of field, you can focus both on the general impression and on the details. Shoot several photos to give a sense of shape and size. Take close-ups to show the product’s details. Lighting should be suitable to highlight the product’s texture. 

Include a human model in the images

In the opinion of user experience experts, the inclusion of human models in a product listing boosts customer confidence and, as a result, lowers return rates. Utilize live models to the fullest extent possible.

Therefore, your shots will show how the product compares to the human body in terms of size and scale. It will be possible for your customer to imagine the item in their imagination even without reading the specifications. This is especially important in the fashion or cosmetic industry.

We can present the key attributes of the product using human models, such as the drape of the material, the length of the skirt on the knee or whether the shoe covers the ankle. It will specify the target group, whether it is a product for children or a sweatshirt with a typically feminine cut.

While wearing clothing and accessories, the customer can experience the primary use of the product firsthand. Seeing the color of a lipstick on an individual with a different complexion or the backpack on a bearded traveller will inform and evoke emotions.

Additionally, live models give you the chance to show related products. By building sets of clothes or accessories, you can link to other listings. So, a customer’s imagination is offered useful hints and nothing is left to chance. 

You can also consider live model videos, which can add another level of information: how does the material behave when bent, when flying? Is the material heavy or light? An e-shopper can make a more informed decision about a product by watching a 10s video clip.

Provide rich content for your audience

Consider adding 360 degree spins of your products, 3D presentations, and product videos to the content to provide more detailed information. A product’s shape, texture, and features cannot be described precisely in any other form of content. Humans can better visualize products through interactive spins. As well as providing hidden information you couldn’t have imagined, it can be crucial in making the decision to return the product.

The benefits of 360-degree photography are explained in detail in our guide.

It will be more enjoyable to watch, keep the customer on your site for longer, and, more importantly, provide useful insights into what the product is really like.

Crowdsource some pictures.

Crowdsourcing is a great way to enhance your ecommerce listing. Put pictures of your customers’ interactions with your product in a separate section of your website.

As well as adding a new source of information about the product, this will certainly add to the liveliness of your page. You can find stylizations and backgrounds for your product that otherwise would not be available. Customers get to see how the product works in real life by interacting with people who have already purchased it. 

There is a strong likelihood that this will reduce the returns rate – more social proof boosts the buyer’s confidence, while information about the product’s employment may discourage them from trying it “just to see”.

You can also use crowdsourcing to get visual comments from your customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Organize a photo challenge, use various hashtags, and let your customers show off. Eventually, they will realize how much they need your products.


As a solution to reducing your ecommerce returns rate, we focus entirely on using product photography. By providing precise visual information, you can reduce the number of returns. 

An effective listing preparation phase will save you valuable time later on, which can be used to address other return processes or any customer-empowering actions that modern markets put so much emphasis on.

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