How To Convert Returns And Exchanges Into Upselling Opportunities

The increasing rate of returns causes a significant headache for online businesses. Whether you are starting new or have been in the industry for years, you know returns can cost you money, time, and energy, too precious for unnecessary expenditure.

However, you can leverage these to create the most satisfying experience for customers and direct a negative into a positive, from optimizing your website to improving your policies.

Returns Don’t Necessarily Mean To Be Negative

Though returns might seem like a net loss, they can be hidden opportunities to build brand loyalty and recoup potential monetary losses.

It is often amused that a return results in losing the customer. But in reality, it serves as an opportunity. A great product return experience encourages the customer to return to your store. That’s because they believe that if they aren’t satisfied with the product, their money isn’t lost. Instead, providing a secure and hassle-free return experience leads to fewer item returns down the line.

Hence to get an answer to your question, “how to reduce returns in ecommerce?” it is essential for both you and your staff to understand the tactics that could help.

Let us introduce you to a few tactics that could help you convert your returns and exchanges into upselling opportunities.

  • Maintaining a positive customer experience

A great way to maintain a positive customer experience is to reduce friction. Friction makes the customers perceive the brand negatively. Here are a few ways to reduce the friction:

  • Make returns convenient

Try and make your return convenient for your customers. Avoid making them go through unnecessary hoops to return an item. Train your staff and design your website in a manner that your customer doesn’t have to struggle to find your service desk.

  • Administrate a hassle-free return policy

Delegate your return policy to be more customer-oriented. It could help the customer to enjoy a hassle-free return and encourage them to revert to your brand.

  • Practice empathy

Instead of firing questions on your customer, try showing empathy to them. It helps customers believe that the brand is worried about them and is willing to work for them.

  • Learn to turn a return into an exchange

Speaking of empathy, trying to understand the real problem, you would be able to turn a return into the exchange. To be able to understand what the real problem is, try practicing the following:

  • Ask them questions to understand their reason to return
    • Be all ears to them
    • Try cross-selling by making a recommendation of suitable alternatives
  • Look for patterns

Returns are much more than just an opportunity to upsell and build customer loyalty. They are a channel to understand what needs your attention. Looking into the pattern of return can help you get an insight into your business. It can allow you to acquire knowledge and work upon the product’s quality, which leads to a return. 


Customer exchange is an inevitable part of ecommerce. Though it is nearly impossible to turn the count into zero, you can try practicing the above tactics to reduce the number and turn the maximum of them into upselling opportunities.