High Return Rates in Online Shopping and Why Poor Copywriting Is to Blame

Online retail has always struggled with high return rates. Saim Alkan got to the bottom of the matter on his Blog text-gold.de with unbelievable results. We will sum it up for you!

Saim found out that 30% of customers return the product because it does not match the product description. He referred to a statistic from Statista, which has done some studies on this matter.

What a crazy problem to have! On the other hand, this statistic points the way to a simple course of action for shop owners to improve their sales and reduce costs.

A quick calculation example illustrates the magnitude of the problem:

  • A return rate of 10% is the lower average in retailing, as is an average return cost of $10.
  • For our example, let’s assume 100,000 items per year and a shopping basket of $25 on average.
  • This means that the costs for returns in this case are 10% of 100,000 consignments at $10: $100,000 p.a.
  • Taking into account the lost revenue: 10,000 items at $25 are $250,000 per year.
  • In each case 30% of the returns and the resulting costs are caused by poor product descriptions. For our example, this means at least $30,000 to $80,000 in lost revenue.

Okay, so can we improve this situation?

Of course, better product descriptions would solve the problem. Let’s have a look at Nike® flask belts, as Saim Alkan did when he was shopping for one in several online stores.

Analysis of the Nike product page:

Product presentation on the nike site
  • The features are presented as benefits in the text.
  • Partially unknown color information is problematic for SEO.
  • Meanwhile (perhaps after reading the advice in Saim Alkan’s article ;-)) they mention the most important feature, the filling quantity, in the heading and description. Previously you could only find it in the detailed description. (You can find the screenshot in Saim Alkan’s article.)

What about the same product at cosmossports?

Nike Flask Belt on cosmossport
  • The colors are not described at all. That’s not good for SEO. People often search for specific colors.
  • A very important piece of information comes very late–the filling quantity of the bottles.

How does GOXIP present the Flask Running Belt?

Product presentation at GOXIP; there is no description

At GOXIP potential buyers can’t find any information about the product. Many questions remain unanswered. Buyers would maybe have expected something different when buying this product and would end up sending it back. 🙁

Saim Alkan recommends: hire experienced copywriters, at least one that automates product descriptions. Then the process scales and you get rid of many worries.


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