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Why Use a Returns Address Service?

person handing over parcel to courier

Returns can be stressful, reduce your profit, and erode your competitiveness. 

But they are inevitable when selling online.

Returns account for 30% of all products ordered online which means you need to have a process in place to deal with them.

We discuss how to deal with returns and how you can reduce them.


Rate of returns

The rate of returns for ecommerce can be at least 30% compared to 8.89% of physical stores.

Returns can be higher during holiday seasons but refunds in general haven’t increased over the past few years.


Why do people return their items?

There’s a range of reasons why people return their items including:

  • The item was damaged or defective
  • The item didn’t fit
  • The item didn’t match the description.

A lot of these issues can be avoided, which we’ll talk about later.


a parcel with a returns address

Why do you need to offer a returns service?

It’s important to offer a parcel returns service because 92% of consumers will buy again if the returns process is easy.

Consumers will also check that you have a returns policy in 67% of cases before purchasing.

Not only could it therefore increase your sales, but consumers will expect you to accept returns and deal with them efficiently.

If you don’t, you could lose a customer. Not only that, but they could write a bad review and impact your seller score and damage your reputation.


What is a UK return address service?

If you’re an online seller, a business returns address service allows you to use their address for returns.

This means you don’t have to provide your home address to customers.

The parcel returns service will handle your returns and include management services such as storing your products and bulk shipping them.


man carrying parcels

How do return addresses work?

1. When you post your parcel, you include the return address on the label.

2. If your customer wants to return the item, they can then send it to this address.

3. Once the item is received at the return address, you will be notified and can decide what you want to do with it.

4. You can then refund your customer, exchange it, or choose another action.

5. You can store your items with the returns service until you have enough items to bulk ship it back to you to resell or carry out another activity.


Why use a returns address service?

If you have set up an ecommerce store but are working from home, you may not want to give out your personal information.

Or you might be taking so many orders that dealing with returns is a hassle.

Using a returns address service means someone else can worry about this for you.

Other benefits of using a returns address service include:

  • Helping you to sell more
  • A higher purchase frequency
  • Improving customer loyalty
  • Reducing costs through bulk shipping and other factors.


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Do you have to put a return address on a package in the UK?

While it’s not legally required in the UK to include a returns address, it is in some countries.

In the USA, the label you place on your package is required to have the following information:

  • Identification of the commodity
  • Name and place of business of the manufacturer
  • Packer or distributor
  • Net quantity of contents.

However, a returns address is a convenience for both you and your customers.

Without a return address your parcel could be lost which means you have not only lost the value of that item, but you may have to ship another one to your customer (if you have it).

If the item is delivered to the wrong address, it can also be sent back to you.

A returns address also helps your customer to trust you and possibly purchase again.


How to calculate your return rate

To calculate your return rate, divide the number of items sold by the number of items returned and multiply the product by 100 to find the percentage.


How to reduce returns in ecommerce

While returns are an inevitable aspect of any ecommerce business, there are ways of reducing your returns.


1. Create a return policy

Having a return policy helps protect you by stating your terms of service and this will help against returns fraud.

This will also show your customers that you offer this service which should make them happier to purchase from you.


2. Monitor your ecommerce returns

It’s important to monitor which items are returned and why, which your returns address service can do.

Ask your customer why they are returning the item, and you will be able to analyse this information.


A computer screen with analytics.

3. Product information

Make sure to include accurate information on your product description. Give as much detail as possible including the measurements, colour, any variations, and any other relevant information.

It’s also important to have professional and realistic product imagery.


4. Respond quickly

If a customer wants to make a return or has a question about it, make sure you deal with it quickly.

Perhaps the item doesn’t need to be returned and you can avoid this.

If the item does need to be returned, then providing a seamless returns process for your customer will enhance your reputation and encourage repeat business.


5. Sell warranties

If your items are electrical, high-quality, or would benefit from a warranty, you can sell these for your product.

This will allow you to repair items instead of replacing them which could help cut down on your costs.

A warranty also reassures the customer that you are confident about your product because you are happy to offer a warranty with it.


6. Offer exchanges or returns credit

When an item is returned, you will likely have to refund the payment.

To avoid this, it might be beneficial to offer an exchange instead. The customer wanted the item which is why they bought it in the first place, so they may be happy to exchange it for another one or a similar-priced item.

If the customer doesn’t want to exchange the item, offer a returns credit to purchase something else in your store for the same amount.

It can avoid having to refund the payment and it can significantly deter returns.


7. Display reviews

Showing what people think of your business and products is beneficial in numerous ways.

It helps to build trust by showing you have sold lots of items before, and people tend to check reviews before purchasing.

They also believe other customers more than the business itself.

The reviews can help with the expectation of the customer. For example, if it is an item of clothing and many reviews say it runs small, this will help a potential customer order the appropriate size. This avoids a return and has helped the customer expect this, so they are not disappointed.


man giving one star review

8. Ship items securely

You don’t want to have to return an item because it was damaged during transportation.

Make sure you pack the items as securely as possible and use robust packaging even if it is more expensive. This could save you on returning the item and it costing more.


9. Beware of returns fraud

Returns fraud means the customer is trying to return an item even though there is nothing wrong with it or it’s been used. It can be a way of getting the item for free or getting another item.

To avoid this, keep track of your returns, have a return policy, and always verify the person has purchased the item.


How My Mailbox can save you time on returns

MyMailbox provides ecommerce sellers with a returns address service to help reduce returns and save you time and money.

MyMailbox provides:

  • A free return address
  • No minimum volume, set up fees, or fixed contract
  • A convenient app to track returns
  • Storage for returned items and shipment.

Sign up for our returns address service today and start seeing the benefits to your budget.