Previously Easycom, now Inretrn

Turning returns into profitable customers: A smart guide

Old myths die hard, and one persistent misconception is that all customers returning products are inherently unprofitable. Whether you embrace it or not, returns are an integral part of the commerce landscape. Attempting to ignore or discourage returns often results in decreased sales and dissatisfied customers. That’s not the solution to increase your bottom line. Shifting your perspective is the first step. Now, let’s dive into practical steps to implement a smarter approach to returns. From optimizing handling processes to leveraging technology, we’ve got the guide to elevate your return strategy.

Rethinking returns: A smarter approach

Returns are not the enemy. In fact, they can be valuable opportunity to turn a challenge into a profit. Here, we’ll explore how shifting your perspective can lead to more profitable returns and happier customers.

The return rate: A crucial metric

When it comes to returns, it’s not just about the quantity but also about the quality of returns. The commonly used metric is the average return rate across the entire company, but it’s essential to delve deeper into the return rate at the product level to truly understand what products are being returned, why, and how fast the handling times are. This deeper analysis allows you to measure profitability on a product and customer basis, making informed decisions to optimize your returns process.

Measuring true return costs

Return transportation costs are visible, but the handling cost for receiving, inspecting, repackaging, and returning products to a saleable condition is equally crucial. Don’t forget the alternative cost of not being able to resell returned products. Understanding these costs at a granular level is the key to improving your bottom line.

Maximizing long-term customer value

Remember, it’s not just about reducing return rates; it’s about maximizing long-term customer value. Discover how a strategic approach to returns can turn one-time buyers into loyal, repeat customers.

Segmenting customer behavior

Research from Lund University supports the idea that analyzing the return rate at the product level is the key to understanding customer profitability. Not all customers who return products are equal—some order and return a large quantity of products, while others order and keep a majority. Identifying these subgroups is essential to avoid losing your most lucrative customers. It’s based on these insights that you could start to create smarter campaigns and give the right customers the right offer.

Tailoring offers to customer behavior

Once you’ve segmented return behaviors, tailor your marketing efforts to different customer groups. Use insights to create targeted campaigns and offers that resonate with each segment. This personalized approach can help retain valuable customers and reduce returns.

Beyond basics: Incorporating profitable and non-profitable products

To gain a comprehensive understanding of true profitability, it’s essential to add another layer – profitability at the product level. This adds complexity but brings you closer to better control and increased profitability. What might seem like your best selling product might actually, due to a high return rate, not be your best margin product. Are you shipping a lot of products one by one overseas? There are different levels to it.

Enhancing control for maximum profitability

Taking control to the next level involves factoring in operational costs uniquely tied to each product and customer. This advanced approach provides unparalleled insights, leading to better control and enhanced profitability.

Turning returns into opportunities

So, are all customers who return products unprofitable? The answer is a resounding no. By adopting a fresh perspective, returns can be seen as an opportunity for increased profitability, happier customers, and a better understanding of your entire business.


By implementing these strategies, you’ll not only reduce return rates but also turn returns into a profitable opportunity that can drive long-term customer loyalty and maximize your bottom line. Embrace the future of digital returns and watch your business thrive in the world of e-commerce.

Embrace the returns challenge, unlock profitability, and gain a competitive edge. Our returns management platform empowers you to turn the tide, transforming returns from a perceived liability into a strategic asset. It’s time to rethink returns and revolutionize the way you do business.