How can improve its return policy to increase purchase intention and customer loyalty

More Info


This project was conducted on behalf of and as a graduation project for the master Strategic Product Design at Delft University of Technology. The goal of this project was to improve the customer experience of’s return policy. Research found that the Dutch online shopper is generally unsatisfied with the return policies of Dutch web shops. offers its customers free returns within 30 days, which is a more liberal policy than most competitors offer. There are however some steps within's return process that are inconvenient, like having to print a return label and needing tape to seal the box. Here lies an opportunity, especially since a good return policy is found do more than just increase customer satisfaction. Some products are more difficult to judge online than others. A return policy is found to increase the likelihood of customers pursuing an online purchase, especially for these products that are more difficult to judge. Additionally, people are found to increase their purchase behaviour at a web shop after returning a product there, which results in more loyal customers. These effects are interesting, but how can's make good use of them? In order to find how can use its return policy to increase people’s purchase intention and customer loyalty, a qualitative and quantitative research were executed. The research showed that customers who returned a product at are positive about its return policy, while customers who never returned a product to, are not familiar with the ease of returning a product. should increase the awareness of its return policy among customers who do not have experience with returning a product. Therefore, customers should experience the ease of returning not only while returning, but already while purchasing a product. In order for this to be effective, the new return policy should minimize the time and effort to return a product. Since returning a product will always cost some time and effort, be a positive consequence should be included to compensate this. As a result of the ideation phase, a new design for the box and invoice are proposed. A self-adhesive return label is incorporated in the invoice and can be used to seal the box. Additionally, instead of 'having to return a purchase' a return will focus on 'completing a search for the right product' and 'helping other customers with their search' by stimulating customers to write a review when returning their product. This design will show customers how easy and enjoyable it is to return a product at The validation showed that this solution is desirable for and a feasible first step towards a new view on the return policy, even though there are long term recommendations that are suggested to be implemented in the future.