The order was a little late… Received the wrong thing… it’s not up to the expectations… Whatever is the reason for return, online rates of return have increased dramatically.

Whenever a return has been triggered, you must focus on two factors- Rendering and Experience. Yes, as easy as these processes would go hand-in-hand it prohibits such scenarios from recurring more and more.

The rising return and exchange cases in eCommerce are becoming a constant source of distress for retailers. It is forcing them to find out the reasons for the eCommerce product return, and refunds and resolve them to the maximum possible extent.

Return and Exchange are crucial in every type of business, not just limited to Retail but in Online stores.

Understanding The Reason For Return Of An Item

Consumers’ digital preferences have developed and standards have evolved due to the rising shift to online platforms in the last year.

reason for return

Customization, User Experiences, and Online Trust are being evaluated more now than ever, and individuals who have originally purchased in brick-and-mortar shops demand the same experiences online too.

If your store does not facilitate the buyers with the reason for return, then you will start to lose one-fifth of their prospective buyers right away. Gradually with time, the majority of them will jump to your competitors.

That’s not just an end to this, store owners are also aware of the fact and are ready to fight up with that. Many businesses are evolving by employing more staff, upgrading storage spaces, and creating separate sections to manage their reverse logistics efficiently and smartly.

Needed A Fully-Fledged Reverse Logistics Manager For Your Store?

Get access to return, refund, exchange, and cancellation requests thereby to the store manager…

The very first step in restructuring your return and exchange policy i.e. reverse logistics that works best for your business is understanding the reasons for eCommerce product return and exchange and their initiations.

It’s critical to comprehend why buyers return items, as there are generally the same reasons for refunds. Benevolent fraudster refunds can occur when a consumer is unhappy with their transaction, and avoiding that discontent prevents both returns and fraudulent charges.

Top 10 Reasons For Returning An Item

Although, it’s impossible to know what’s on each customer’s mind. Overall, there could be various reasons for the eCommerce product return, refund, and exchange requests by consumers at an individual level, but we have selected the top 10 popular reasons for refunds in this article.

Note: It is not customary that the returning product is always bad or damaged to be rejected from the inventory, rather can be anything.

Let’s dig deeper and understand the reasons for returns and refunds one-by-one in detail-

1. Bad Customer Support

Customers are demanding responses in a quick time frame. 82% of clients view the immediate response as very crucial when they have concerns, according to HubSpot’s research. It clearly defines that the routes you deploy should have suitable responsiveness. This is an area where experts can assist you. Your salespeople should demonstrate why a customer should retain a product and what it could do for him.

Poor customer service is something that you can afford for your business. This is also one of the primary reason for return, along with other crucial consequences…


This also tells us that- [Product] information is your ultimate power, as cliché as it may be. However, you’d be shocked how much information may help your team and business operate better.

Allow your staff to learn the ‘ins and outs’ of a product. This enables them to better engage clients, communicate any product benefits, and maintain their curiosity.

For effective customer assistance, the support staff must have the necessary competence and decorum to utilize impactful statements. It lessens the unfavorable impact of customer service and aids in the creation of amazing success stories.

Smart Tip To Prevent The Return Request –

High-value customers are also the most likely to utilize the returns process. Make sure the experience leaves them feeling good about your brand.

It’s time to automate your returns when the user experience team spends significant amounts of time manually making shipping labels and addressing inquiries like “Where is my reimbursement?” rather than assisting customers in finding the correct item to buy.

2. Product Falls Short Of Expectations

It is not at all necessary that your product will always bring happiness to your customers, even after they have bought it. Purchasing is just a deal, and your customers aren’t interested in deals that do not fulfill their expectations, this is also the reason for return. 

When a buyer orders something, he begins setting up his expectations. If someone ordered a pair of sneakers, they begin dreaming of how they would go on a morning walk in those sneakers.

Smart Tip To Prevent Return Requests-

Offering accurate information about your goods upfront will help reduce refunds. Consumers are less likely to return merchandise if what they receive meets their expectations. Make sure your site’s product pages are detailed and include elevated, accurate images.

3. Deceptive Descriptions

Online shopping is different from shopping in physical stores; in a way that the buyers can physically handle the products in the latter while this is not possible in the former.

It is more dependent on product descriptions and the visuals, images, or videos present on the product page. Although high-quality images, zoom view,  and detailed description are of great convenience for shoppers in deciding the product to purchase, it’s not always as convincing as that in a physical store.


Such a high-resolution image and a detailed description could compensate for some of the drawbacks of not being able to touch the product physically.


Any disagreement about the actual product from the description would become the reason for return and exchange later after it’s in the hands of consumers. Buyers are completely innocent in such cases and their refund or exchange requests are completely justified.

Such instances impact brand reputation negatively. Several such cases outroot the overall trust of the buyers in the brand, likewise the example listed below from Bored Panda


Who would like to keep such products? Returning is the only option!

Want To Manage Such Return Request?

Have a quick analysis of- Does your buyer expect a higher level of quality as a result of the marketing or because of the price?

Or did my product quality suffer as a result of product lifecycle scrutinies likewise manufacturing changes in the middle of the season or missing QA to achieve the deadlines? That somehow reduces the chances of getting into the product return process and management.

4. Most Often, It’s Just Not The Right Fit

Product size is a critical factor and a major reason for return and exchange in the fashion, footwear, and clothing category. The wrong size of a boot pair and unfit clothes are of ZERO use to consumers and hence returning them becomes the priority. If they don’t, their money will be wasted. Sometimes, the wrong merchandise gets packed and delivered to the consumers, which could be the mistake of merchants or the packing staff.

For both these reasons for returning an item is necessary to avoid churn and to keep up the trust of the brand in consumers.

Smart Tip To Avoid Return Requests-

Overwhelmingly, shoppers said that having access to user-generated content including Reviews, Q&A, Images and Videos would have made them less likely to return a product.

In fact, across the board, two-thirds of shoppers agreed that they would be less likely to return a product if they had been able to read or view this type of content before purchasing.

5. Making A Subtle Purchase via Wardrobing

Buying something to use to return it, such as buying a dress for a party, hiding the tag, and returning the worn product later for a refund. The Instagram era has also given birth to “Digital Wardrobing” where people purchase clothing to wear for social media and then return.

I can understand the ouch feeling of that brand that has suffered this nuisance in the name of refunds and exchanges.

This is an innovative yet unfair reason for return and exchange requests. It is a pure sense of fraud in purchasing items. These are the situations when customers are likely to indulge only in their selfish instincts and unknowingly hamper the workability of a successful business.


Some interview candidates purchase a tie or blazer for their job interview and return it after using it. Soccer fans purchase a big display TV for the World Cup final and return it the day after the match is over. There are not just these one or two ways, people are filled with a high volume of such creative and clever ideas for wardrobing.

Readers buy novels, read them in a day, and then return them for ridiculous excuses to get their money back for the next book. Such reason for return and refund are not genuine. They are pure exploitation of the return and refund policy, which is deteriorating your business model.

Smart Tip To Stop This Reason For Return –

Shoppers are using their homes as fitting rooms, resulting in returns becoming more common. Better is that smartly accept returns that are with valid reasons or introduce strict security checks for returning luxury goods to avoid such mishappenings.

6.  Buyer’s Changed Opinion Or Need

The buyer’s opinion and choices do fluctuate even at the last moment.

There are situations when a customer’s illogical purchasing behavior triggers the product return process. Furthermore, some eCommerce retailers provide free shipping on returns as well. Because they aren’t going to buy entirely, many buyers will take advantage of such offers and acquire more than they expected.

When buyers change their minds or when the requirements of any product are no more, they decide to return the product that was recently received to save their money.

Why do buyers no longer need that product? 

There can be multiple reasons for that.

If a person orders a book and subsequently discovers that his buddy already has it and is willing to lend it to him, the person may choose to return it and receive a refund.

7. Fraudulent Returns

On the internet, being a badass is much easier than in real life. Returns that are fraudulent account for 6% of all reason for return. There’s a good chance that a consumer is currently attempting to defraud you.


The Following Are the Most Typical Types of Return Fraud Character Traits-

  • Swappers place orders for a new model to substitute one that is defective or outdated.
  • Friendly con artists claim customers neither bought the product nor never obtained their goods.
  • Fraudsters buy things using imaginary money or seized credit or debit cards and then return it for a reimbursement, which they usually expect in cash

Smart Tip To Prevent Such Types Of Return-

Keep in mind that dishonest clients might be very vocal. It could also be a red flag if you refuse to accept the return (without breaching your refund and exchange policy, of course) and the consumer becomes irrationally upset.

The best part is that once merchants start collecting fraudulent daily returns, their capacity to reduce future return fraud skyrockets, especially in omnichannel retail when purchases are made online and refunded in-store.

8. Festive Season: The Time of Highest Return

Festive seasons have the highest sales throughout the year.

People purchase several gifts for their family and friends. However, not all gifts are loved back by the receiver; some gifts do not meet the needs of the receivers; so, the best alternative is to return them and get a refund or swap it for other similar products.

Store owners cannot cut down their return policy straightforwardly as it would hurt them more. Many retailers modify their festive return policy; providing free return shipping on festive sales to attract more buyers during the festive time.

Merchants can also utilize the exclusive features of the WooCommerce refund plugin…

festive season manage returns

Smart Tip To Avoid This Reason For Return-

Leveraging Gift Cards is a good option to reduce the chances of a return request and is the best solution to -How to handle customer returns in festivities?

Gift cards are provided as a credit amount, and the recipients spend it on items of their choice, color, and size. Thus, making it less probable to mismatch and hence avoiding the situation of return and refund.

Need A Virtual Gifting Solution For Your Customers??

Merchants can create, sell & manage gift cards in their store with 20+ festive templates…

For some people, gifting products physically means more. Therefore, providing them with curated gift ideas can be another good technique to avoid poor choice of gifts.

9. Late Deliveries & Improper Order Tracking

Delayed delivery is one of the unsatisfactory things that can happen when you place an order. No matter, how infrequent it is.

In an ideal world, packages might arrive on time with little to no hassles or interruptions. However, goods may arrive with damage, flaws, or erroneous qualities in some cases.


Shipping delays and receiving damaged things are common occurrences. These problems enrage clients, who are eager to learn why they occur and when they will receive their package or reimbursement.

Smart Tip-

Transparency and tracking capabilities are critical in the product return process; retailers should keep shoppers informed of return package status and refund status; This might allay buyer fears that their delivery will be lost or that the returns process will be a “black hole.”

Check Out This Outstanding Shipment Tracking Solution For Your Store!

Add the most versatile custom carrier tracking tool to your store…

10. Unorganized Refund Policies & Solutions

Creating an effective return and exchange plan for your online marketplace is crucial for customer happiness. If you don’t, you’ll have a bunch of angry customers, low revenue, and bad morale.

Why make it easier to return goods?” they could ask. “I’d rather not deal with the reason for return!

This is where the great news comes in 92% of people polled claimed that if the return process is simple, they will purchase again.

A Few Examples In This Respect Are-

Brummell Co.

Brummell’s return policy for its premium socks simplifies the process into five easy steps.

reasons for refund and exchange

They inform customers about the specific requirements for a return, as well as the expected processing time.


This example is a little different than their return policy, BAKblade automates the return process for customers.

reasons for refund and exchange

Through the portal shown, customers can easily start the return process from BAKblade’s website.

Automation and effective management are all crucial aspects that led to the foundation of a smart system.

Yes, heard that right.

It is now time to replace your outdated management systems with some of the most recent and intelligent alternatives on the market.

Exclusive Features Of RMA Return, Refund & Exchange for WooCommerce

RMA Return, Refund & Exchange for WooCommerce Pro from WP Swings is such a revolutionizing product that turns down the critical return and refund management to an easy child-like task that too with no major coding knowledge involved.

One Plugin With Complete RMA Solution

One-stop complete solution for return, refund, cancel orders, exchange, and other services related to RMA management…

You only need to sync one within your WooCommerce store to manage returns, refunds, and exchanges. All your headaches and troublesome nights are going to end soon.

Let’s talk about the exclusive features this plugin offers that help manage the reason for return…

1. Guest Form Enhancement: The customers can enter the “request type” for the refund, return & cancellation, and be redirected to the entered page directly.

2. Refund Shipping Charges: Admins can utilize this feature to refund the charged shipping amount during the refund process. Note: This feature doesn’t work for partial refunds.

3. Initiate Return, Exchange & Cancellation For A Specific Period: The WooCommerce Refund plugin enables the admin to set a specific time frame for all refund, exchange, and cancellation requests.

4. RMA Report: This feature enables the admins to have an overall insight into the refund, return, exchange, and cancellation of the website. Learn more about this interesting feature…

rma report feature

5. Refund Policy Feature: This is an outstanding setup tab available on the WooCommerce RMA plugin, to set up the predefined rules for the refund request based.

6. Advanced Wallet System: The WooCommerce Return plugin enables customers to get the refunded amount in the customer’s wallet in your store.

7. Partial Refund and Exchange or Cancel: Our RMA plugin enables you to create a partial WooCommerce refund; exchange or cancellation is no longer a hassle.

Interested To Know More About The Working & Implementation Of These Features? – Check Out The User Guide Of WooCommerce Return Plugin

So, to keep customers coming back, it’s important to allow returns and that requires a strong online returns management system. Such a system that caters to all return processing and helps you understand well the reasons for product return.

Summing Up

Examining the reasons for returns and exchanges can help you figure out how to deal with them. They taught us how to deal with the problems that arise as a result of frequent return and refund requests.

Return requests aren’t usually the result of customer error. Sometimes that is the retailer’s responsibility, and sometimes it’s just an odd condition that can’t be overlooked.

If refund and exchange reasons – listed above are thoroughly understood and strategically handled, then they can surely help you with your quest i.e. How to handle customer returns? Along with, you can also learn decreasing excessive costs associated with returning products and reselling inventory.

Further than the BUY NOW button, an efficient product return process helps the most renowned brands and retailers develop lifelong relationships. It increases brand loyalty at scale by allowing customers to have rich and emotive post-purchase experiences.


I hope this article is helpful. Let us know, What are the strangest, craziest, or most problematic reasons for refund and exchange you’ve ever seen in your online store?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, and please do share.

About the Author: Muskaan Sabarwal

Muskaan Sabarwal is a content writer with a knack for telling stories, a flair for detail, and a hint of humor. She is passionate about creating valuable content on online platforms. She can blend conversion optimization and persuasion tactics like magic to share your brand's message.
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  1. KATH OBLEA June 10, 2021 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Hi sir, somehow your article state facts. But at some point ecommerce business is somehow in demand in our time today. All of the person in different side of the worlds are doing online business. At some point problems and difficulties arises that was definitely true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts it with be a great reminder to all.

    • Anees Ahmad June 11, 2021 at 4:18 am - Reply

      Thanks Kath, for liking and sharing your opinion with us.

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