EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3228 - December 30, 2013     3 of 4

Which Retailers Do Best in Enabling Product Returns Online

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The retail websites of Lowe's, Target and Best Buy have done the best job of providing a good customer experience when it comes to product returns, according to a new study by Qubit. The company studied ten top retail websites to see how easy it was for shoppers to find information about returns and exchanges and how easy it was to return merchandise through the websites.

All of the retailers offered a return policy, but not every one provided easily printed shipping labels to shoppers. Qubit noted that despite being the largest online retailer in the world, Amazon fell way behind some of the brick-and-mortar retailers, coming in tied 5-7th, and Sears lagged behind at the bottom of the list.

In order to rate the ten sites, Qubit awarded a point for each of seven questions for which the answer was a yes, from whether the site offered returns to how easy it was to find the exchanges policy.

Lowe's scored a perfect 7 out of 7 (100%), coming in first place. Target and Best Buy tied with scores of 6 out of 7. Costco scored 5 out of 7. Amazon, Walmart, JCPenney tied with scores of 5.5 out of 7, and Macy's scored a 4.5 out of 7. Sears came in last place with a score of 3 out of 7. (One question asked the number of clicks it took a shopper to get to the exchange policy, for which some sites earned less than 1 point.)

The study did not factor in the returns policy duration (how much time customers had to return items) because that typically comes down to store policy. "Qubit focuses on the functionality of the sites themselves to improve the overall customer experience," according to a company spokesperson. "While the length of time a customer has to return a product is important to the customer, that's a business decision that falls outside Qubit's domain and is more a business decision set forth by the retailers on their own terms."

See, "Could These Tactics Decrease Your Returns?" on the AuctionBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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