How to Minimise the Returns Damaging Your ROI and the Environment

Shopping online is increasing in popularity and unfortunately, so is the number of returned items – estimated to be around 3 billion return packages per year within the EU alone. These returns are not only damaging to your ROI but also have a substantial environmental impact attached to them. From carbon emissions to rising landfill, the impact of these transactions is huge. 

When it comes to eCommerce, there will always be a place for change-of-mind returns. However, a new pattern in consumer behaviour shows that customers are systematically over-ordering and therefore adding to this problem. To find the right size or colour, customers order more items than they intend to keep and then return their least favourite items.

This return ‘culture’ is costly for the merchant. Businesses are under pressure to offer ‘free returns’ as standard, covering the full shipment cost of the return, in addition to its original delivery cost. There is also a lot of energy attached to returns as returned items need to be checked, processed and repacked before becoming available for resale.

Having consulted eCommerce store owners on how they can maximise ROI and increase efficiencies, AYKO understands that returns are a common pain point. To help tackle this, we’ve collated some of our top tips for minimising returns and maximising ROI.

Top Tips for Minimising Returns

Rich-media content

Whether it’s a catwalk video or zoomable photography, quality content can present the finer details of your product and enables users to better visualise the product in real life.

Product reviews and UGC

User-generated content and reviews are a great source of trustworthy content that users can relate to and use to form an opinion before making a purchase. Integrations like Yotpo, TrustPilot and Feefo can be easily integrated to present this on your product pages in a style that is in line with your website.


Thorough product listings and information 

One of the most common reasons for returns is improper sizing. Be clear and accurate product spec and make your size guidelines easily accessible from the product page.

Live Chat

Remove the uncertainty by allowing users to ask their questions and seek further information about your products. Not only helping you to close the sale, but also increase customers’ confidence, particularly for businesses selling a service or high AOV products.

Fair and transparent return policies

To keep returns sustainable for themselves and the environment, ASOS announced their revised return policy which monitors shoppers activity more closely and blacklists those abusing the system. Promote transparency like ASOS by outlining what’s acceptable and what isn’t and prevent customers from returning used goods.


Package to prevent damage

It may seem like an obvious one, but appropriate packaging for your products goes a long way to preventing breakage and damage in transit. Ensure your box size provides a close fit for your product and select packaging materials that will absorb impact.

Promote accurate delivery times 

Always be realistic with the delivery times you promote and consider possible delays around busier periods such as Christmas and Black Friday. This accuracy will help customers determine whether the product will arrive in time and eliminate the need to return products which come later than expected. Also crucial for living products such as groceries and flowers where the quality can be affected.

Of course, there will always be returns, and this is a risk attached to online shopping. Browsing on a website is not the same as holding or looking at an item in-store or speaking to an advisor face-to-face. By following the above simple steps, you will undoubtedly be on your way to minimising returns, boosting your ROI and doing your bit for the environment! 

Are you interested in boosting your ROI and increasing efficiency? Chat to one of our eCommerce consultants today to discuss our consultancy and optimisation packages.

UX and CRO Analyst Joins Our Professional Services Team

An introduction to our Professional Services team and Q&A with UX and CRO Analyst, Adam.

Many agencies that work with clients follow a simple internal structure; you have your Creatives and Developers working their magic and a team of Account Managers and Project Managers managing the project tasks and communicating with the client. Ordinarily, it falls with the Project Managers to recommend optimisations and new opportunities, but while managing the day-to-day and agile sprint plans, this can sometimes prove challenging.

To tackle this problem and ensure we are actively exploring and recommending innovations and ways to achieve growth with our customers, we’ve introduced our Professional Services team. This newly formed team is currently made up of a Business Analyst, UX and CRO Analyst and Partner Manager. The Professional Services team are present during the road mapping phase of a new project and on hand after the project goes live. Bringing their eCommerce knowledge and skillset to every project and working with best-of-breed technology partners, the team is fully dedicated to adding value to our work and achieving next-level growth for our customers. 

We caught up with Adam who recently joined the Professional Services team as UX and CRO Analyst to get all the details on how he’s finding it at AYKO and to give you some handy tips on how to improve your user experience and conversion rate.

Adam Leggott, UX and CRO Analyst at AYKO

What are some of the most common UX and CRO downfalls you see with projects?

I find that while projects are great at focusing on business needs and technical challenges or possibilities, the needs of the customer (user) can often be overlooked. “How will a real person use this?” is a question that is not asked enough, and this is something I hope to continue to help improve.

Does user experience (UX) and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) go hand in hand?

In many ways yes, a primary focus of UX is to help users achieve their goals as easily as possible, and in the case of eCommerce that is often to help users convert. However, that goal may be something else, and as such, UX has a broader responsibility, including considerations such as accessibility.

What is a simple way online retailers can improve their conversion rate?

Always consider the user – before making any design changes or introducing new features, be sure to consider if this is the best move for your user base. If in doubt, ask them!  After all, they are the ones who will ultimately be affected. 

Would you advise retailers to have a UX strategy at the beginning of a new project?

Absolutely! I believe that the user should always be front and centre of any product or service design, and this should be maintained not just at the start of a new project, but throughout the lifetime of any ongoing work.

How necessary is user testing when fine-tuning a customer journey? 

I would say that it is crucial; users will surface key functional issues that may require a rethink of how a page or feature works. The earlier this is caught, the less work will need to go through the design and development stages. 

In our industry, things are continually changing. Does this apply to UX and CRO methods?

To a degree, yes. Don Norman first wrote about user-centred design as a concept back in 1988, and many of those principles still apply today, but how we best service those principles are constantly evolving with emerging technologies. Heatmaps and screen recording feedback are just two examples of modern UX testing tools, and who knows how we will be tracking user behaviour five years from now?

What is the most rewarding part of your job, and what do you enjoy about working at AYKO?

Understanding how people use services and websites, and how we can make that smoother for them is truly fascinating. It involves an interesting mix of technical knowledge, empathy, and psychology. Being able to implement that also requires input and actions from a wide variety of talented individuals, and I am pleased to say that is something we have in abundance at AYKO.

Alongside offering this optimisation service to our current customers, our Professional Services team can also be hired on a consultancy basis to help eCommerce merchants reach their full potential and maximise their ROI. If you would like to chat with Adam or another member of our team, you can get in touch to request an open call back to discuss your next steps.

Want to improve your user experience and conversion rate? Our Professional Services team have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can identify opportunities within your eCommerce strategy and work with you to make these all-important optimisations.

The Highlights From Meet Magento UK 2019

We recently attended Meet Magento UK and have brought you some of our content highlights from the day.

Meet Magento UK returned to the Mermaid, London 19th June to connect the Magento community for a day of learning and networking. With two talk tracks to choose from, Merchant Track and Technical Track, there was plenty of content around the latest innovations and trends and lots of practical takeaways for attendees. Unlike other Magento events such as Magento Imagine and MagentoLive Europe, this conference is completely community lead and organised by a Magento Solution Technology partner. 

The speakers include representatives from Magento and Adobe alongside merchants, other SI partners and third-party technologies. Here is a round-up of my talk highlights from the day:


Optimising Online Retail Performance

IMRG run a series of data studies analysing participant performance across a range of datasets to help retailers understand how they can optimise various areas of their eCommerce offering. 

Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, Andy Mulcahy, analysed a set of data gathered from several online retailers and presented his findings to advise SI’s and merchants on how to best optimise the customer funnel and encourage conversions. On average, 56% of users that visit a website view a product page, 19% of these add to basket, and 58% of this number convert. So, based on IMRG findings, how can we reach that large percentage of users who are escaping the customer funnel?

Video – Despite video best practice being ill-defined currently, IMRG predicts that video, including catwalk videos and ‘how-to’ videos, have strong potential to increase customer engagement.

Similar product suggestions – Retailers with similar product suggestions, i.e. ‘Complete the look’, ‘Make an outfit of it’ or ‘Frequently bought together’ have higher than the average number of items per order.

Urgency messaging – Urgency messaging such as ‘Quick, selling out fast’ or ‘Only three left’ displayed on the product pages, is proven to be an effective way to increase the add to bag rate. However, IMRG predicts this will be regulated in the future due to a backlash from charities included mental health charities. 

Live Chat – According to IMRG, only 0.3% of total sessions use Live Chat, but for users that do, the conversion rate is considerably higher. Retailers should evaluate whether their product or service requires this functionality. 

Site search box – Customers who choose to use search are proven to be more engaged than an average user. Customers who use the site search box have a conversion rate of 7.4%, compared to the average conversion rate of 3.1%. IMRG found that their intent to purchase was far greater, and even showing them zero results doesn’t put them off!

From Bigamy to Polyamory: Managing Complex Agency Relationships

Meet Magento speaker Dan Coleman explained how eCommerce Managers and business owners often look to change agencies when projects are failing. However, it is often the inter-agency relationships that are failing, and the expense of replacing agencies can sometimes be avoided.

The majority of retailers will work with several agencies or third-parties, including their development agency, creative agency, eCommerce consultants and so on, however, retailers need all agencies to work together to meet their needs. Many companies think that the cure to this is all-agency calls, but Dan believes this is not the solution and went on to offer his recommendations. 

So, what should a retailer do to manage complex agency relationships?

  1. Understand your objectives (SMART objectives that all parties can understand).
  2. Communicate your objectives to all parties
  3. Get a feel for your current agency relationships (are payments sent on time, is there a communication structure or is communications ad hoc, are they offering you good value, do they push back?) and create a RACI chart (Responsibility Assignment Matrix).
  4. Own your reporting – take full responsibility for reporting and communicating it to all parties.

All of these actionable items can be applied almost immediately with little or no change to existing relationships, and in doing so, retailers will be able to use each of their agency’s strengths to ensure the appropriate structures are put in place before they become an issue.


Panel – Convert More Mobile Visitors to Buyers: Surprising Findings from a Magento Community Study

Studies completed by Mayborn Group (owners of Tommee Tippee and Gro Company) shown that 82% of their traffic was coming from mobile, while only 3% of these mobile visitors were converting. To target this, they took part in a mobile optimisation initiative with their eCommerce agency and measured their success by calculating the increase in revenue per visitor (RPV).

Running a series of tests, they were able to optimise the mobile experience and increase the revenue per visitor (RPV) by 8.3%. The tests included simple tweaks including collapsing the coupon and promotion fields, removing the wishlist feature, adding the PayPal express checkout shortcut, and removing breadcrumbs. 

To help improve your mobile strategy, and see more live mobile commerce experiments like the ones below, visit

FLOWERBX – Scaling a Flower Disruptor

The next talk was from Technology Director at FLOWERBX, Kam Chovet, who talked us through the evolution of online flower retailer and Magento merchant, FLOWERBX. Kam discussed the key areas that have helped FLOWERBX scale since its inception in 2015.

‘Last mile’ logistics – It was interesting to hear how flowers are a ‘last-minute business’ and how vital a slimmed-down supply chain is to ensure flowers last longer once they reach the consumer. As flowers are a living product, speed to market plus how the flowers are then transported to their final destination is super important. Focusing on their ‘last mile’ logistics, FLOWERBX tested various handling and packaging methods to identify the best third-party solution. They also wanted to offer excellent communication to customers throughout the process, so worked on an integration with their delivery process.

Subscription models – After seeing the success of some of the product ranges, FLOWERBX introduced a flower subscription model which encourages high customer loyalty at low-cost acquisition. Founder of FLOWERBX, Whitney Bromberg Hawkings wanted to encourage B2C customers to consider flowers as an everyday necessity like groceries, simplifying the ordering process and also offering convenience for her B2B customers including fashion retailers, hotels and VIPs.  

A scalable eCommerce platform – Working as a lean organisation of just 50 people, FLOWERBX wanted a simple and scalable eCommerce solution. Magento 2.3 allows FLOWERBX to create a multi-currency store, rather than multiple stores and enables them to repurpose their strong imagery. 

It was great to hear how FLOWERBX have grown since operating from a single location in London in 2017 to operating in 21 locations in Europe and recently opening a New York base in 2019.


Alongside some great talks, the team at JH and the Meet Magento UK sponsors put a lot of effort into making the day run as smoothly as possible. If you didn’t manage to make it to the event or just wanted to recap, I hope you enjoyed my Meet Magento UK highlights and thank you for reading. 


With a team of over 80 eCommerce professionals including 32 Magento 2 certified developers, we’re the largest and most experience Magento Solution Partner in the UK.
If you require assistance with a Magento project, get in touch with one of our experts today.