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Reducing ecommerce returns with return credits

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An Author Correction to this article was published on 21 January 2023

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Abstract

Massive ecommerce returns incur considerable costs for e-retailers, erode their competitiveness and make their product returns management complex and difficult. Reducing returns can help e-retailers mitigate these negative consequences. This article focuses on ecommerce returns due to satisfaction-related reasons, the most common reasons for ecommerce returns, and studied the use of return credits (a maximum free returns amount) to reduce these kinds of returns. This novel approach is different from full or partial return policy documented in existing literature. This article also studied the side effects of using return credits. A one-factor (credit amount: high vs. low) between-subject scenario experiment was conducted. ANOVA was used to test hypotheses. The results revealed that using return credits can significantly deter returns, while the high and low credit amount have a similar effect on deterring returns. Moreover, the high credit amount leads to weaker side effects than the low amount. These findings can help e-retailers decide whether to introduce return credits to manage returns, and help them design their return credits.

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The questionnaire data that support the findings of this study are not openly available because the authors do not have the authority to disclose and share the personal data.

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Notes

  1. Gäthke et al. [98] studied the relationship between return restrictiveness and repurchase intention among online consumers, but they focused on effort restrictiveness and refund types (money back vs. store credit) from which our research are quite different.

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Acknowledgements

A part of Yangchun Li’s work was done at the University of Granada. This work was supported by Research Start-Up Fund of Zhejiang University of Technology (number: 2021132007929) and the China Scholarship Council.

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Martínez-López, F.J., Li, Y., Feng, C. et al. Reducing ecommerce returns with return credits. Electron Commer Res 23, 2011–2033 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-022-09638-5

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