Many online retailers view product returns as an unwieldy cost that drains margins, and several are asking customers to absorb return shipping costs. But research by McIntire’s Associate Dean for the B.S. in Commerce Program Trey Maxham and his Washington and Lee University colleague Amanda Bower asks retailers to consider the upside of free returns: enhanced customer loyalty that could spark more purchases. A Dec. 22, 2012, Washington Post article by the two, titled “How Free Online Returns Can Spark Shopper Loyalty,” describes how their research findings can be a reminder to retailers that customers will have their own independent perceptions of blame, their own reactions to return fees, and most important, the ability to decide whether they will shop again.

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-Source: McIntire School of Commerce News