Amazon has recently begun displaying a warning message about frequently returned items; the company is beginning to buckle down on customer responses after rumors of a recession are growing. Industry-wide e-commerce returns increased dramatically during pandemic lockdowns and while return rates are not as bad as they once were, Amazon is still suffering financially from defective products being sold.
The new message, highlighted in an orange box, appears on select products and displays the text: “Frequently returned item: Check the product details and customer reviews to learn more about this item.” This badge isn’t visible to everyone, though. This suggests that the concept is still in the works and limited testing is being performed on certain items that have been returned a numerous amount of times. In addition to the message, all currently tagged products appear to be from third-party vendors fulfilled by Amazon.
Amazon likely hopes these new labels will encourage sellers to modify their listings and products, as one of these alerts could seriously damage an item’s sales. With the retail giant cutting down on spending (they recently announced layoffs for 9,000 employees this year), it makes sense that Amazon would crack down on astronomical return rates.
Some retailers on the Amazon website have claimed that Amazon consumers return items much more frequently, saying they have experienced more product satisfaction using other retail outlets. This discrepancy can be attributed to Amazon’s painless checkout process and insanely fast Prime shipping and delivery, as many customers expect the highest quality products from the biggest virtual retailer in the world.
“We’re currently showing return rate information on some product detail pages to help our customers make more informed purchase decisions,” Betsy Harden, Amazon spokesperson, confirmed to The Information earlier this week. This isn’t the first time Amazon drew attention to public sales data: the company has also recently started to display messages for how many sales a product has made. For example, a badge will appear if 100,000+ of a select product was sold in the last month.
This new feature will hopefully nudge sellers to improve their products and services, as this is an obvious effort on Amazon’s part to significantly decrease the amount of unsatisfied customers and frustrating return rates.