To have a profitable apparel brand, you have to do more than just make sales—you also need to strategically reduce your return rate.

Returns can be costly and time-consuming for e-commerce stores, particularly in the apparel industry. As e-commerce shopping grows, apparel businesses must discover ways to cut returns and boost customer satisfaction.

Imagine you manage to sell hundreds of thousands of garments. (Every brand’s dream, right?)

If you don’t worry about your return rate, your profits might hurt from the returns, but it gets worse…

…you’ll also lose loyal customers and damage your brand reputation in the market.

The return rate in the apparel industry is actually pretty high. Here are some concerning stats.

According to CoreSight, the average return rate for online apparel in the U.S. is around 24.4%. But hey, that’s not all, because Invesp reports it as 30%, and EcoAge says it can go up to 40%.

It’s time to take action to prevent 1/3 of your customers from returning garments. Read on to discover eight helpful tactics to reduce return rates, boost profits, enhance customer satisfaction, and build loyalty—all at the same time!

Want Your Customers to Fall in Love with Your Garments? Partner with Scrappy Apparel!

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@fashionxrhiannon #hmstyles #autumnstyleinspo #keepreturn #inspohaul #hmhaulfashion ♬ original sound – yo.its.yombo

Keep reading to find out how to make your customers want to keep the garments they order!

What Are the Main Reasons for Apparel Returns?

It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the reasons why customers are returning their clothing items. With these insights, you know exactly what problems you have to address to reduce returns.

According to Power Reviews, the main causes for apparel returns are:

  • 39% didn’t like the sizing
  • 28% say the item didn’t look like they thought it would
  • 13% bought different sizes of the same item and returned the ones they didn’t like
  • 13% say the item didn’t match the description
  • 10% say the garment was damaged or defective

Notice how a single issue can prompt a customer to return their items for various reasons? 

For example, inaccurate sizing details may lead the customer to return due to a mismatched description.

Unclear info may even drive them to purchase multiple items to try on. In some cases, this is unavoidable, but every shipment costs you money… so it’s better to clarify all details from the beginning.

What Are the 8 Best Ways to Minimize Clothing Returns and Boost Customer Satisfaction?

Here’s how you can reduce your return rate, increase sales, boost customer loyalty, and build brand authority—which will bring even more customers!

sizing information1. Provide Comprehensive Sizing Information

Provide detailed sizing info to customers. We mean doing more than copying + pasting a size chart and calling it a day. 

Measure each garment precisely, including specifics like pocket dimensions, zipper lengths, and underarm distances. 

Though time-consuming, highlighting accurate size details reduces returns for online retail.


@g_g_gansukh This is a REAL FRUSTRATION 😤 #realityvsexpectations #onlineshopping #blushmark #onlineshoppingfail #onlinereturns ♬ Forget – XXKATUSJINSUX

This could be avoided with clear sizing information.

2. Provide Clear Product Descriptions

Customers can be disappointed when the clothes they get don’t match the promised quality. This mismatch between what they expect and what they get often leads to lots of returns in online shopping.

To fix this, don’t just stick to basic and generic information. Give them more details on the fit (regular, tight, loose, slim) and dimensions in inches and centimeters for clarity. 

By sharing this info, customers can make better choices that match their style and size preferences.

customer satisfaction

3. Incorporate Real Customer Reviews and Photos Into Your Product Pages

Customer reviews, testimonials, and even user-generated content (UGC) can be a fantastic way to show how people wear your garments in the real world.

Every week or month, spotlight these customer styles directly on your product pages and across your social media platforms. This gives future buyers a genuine look at how your garments fit into different personal styles and how they look on multiple body types.

This helps set accurate expectations about the product before the customer purchases anything. It’s all about bridging the gap between the convenience of online shopping and the in-store shopping experience.

Seeing a brand’s garments on other people offers a “try before you buy” type of assurance… it’s about as close as we can get in e-commerce.

@clarahyee Questionable quality & their return process is so complicated and not free. I’m so sad because they have great styles #commense #haul #shopping #return #review ♬ Motion – Ty Dolla $ign

Even if it fits well, she is returning the garment because it didn’t match her expectations.

4. Add More Images and Videos

Providing more images can solve a bunch of issues like expectations, style, sizes, and more. This tip also helps manage high expectations and gives shoppers a good idea of what they’re getting, leading to fewer returns.

Another tip to write clear descriptions and set realistic expectations is to use product videos. This format not only reduces return rates in fashion e-commerce but also increases conversion rates and boosts profits for your brand.

It’s all about showcasing your products clearly!


@fashionnova What I bought online & how it looks in person 😍 #denimskirt #onlinevsreality #outfitinspo ♬ nobodys business rihanna sped up – ilham

Customers want their purchases to look and feel just like what they saw on the website.

5. Build a Clear and User-Friendly Website

By structuring your site with intuitive navigation and easily accessible information, customers can find what they’re looking for without any problems. 

This significantly reduces the likelihood of returns due to misunderstandings or incorrect expectations!

You’ll want to write clear and concise return policies. These include straightforward guidance on sizing, fit, description, and key information about your product.

Plus, crafting a website that’s easy to use and navigate can really boost the shopping experience. A 5-star experience draws in customers and makes them feel confident as they browse and buy.

6. Don’t Ship Out Damaged or Defective Products

Regardless of whether the garment fits, buyers are likely to return clothing if it exhibits flaws, damages, or defects.

However, these products not only lead to returns but also inflict serious damage to the reputation of an e-commerce brand. Fixing a poor reputation can be an insurmountable challenge—so don’t even go there.

Implement thorough quality checks and replace items with loose threads, subpar materials, or obvious manufacturing defects. To make it easier to prevent this, work with a reliable partner skilled in manufacturing techniques. 

The quality of your materials is also paramount. Consistently use high-quality fabric to WOW your customers!

7. Analyze Consumer Data

Check out a customer’s previous returns and purchases. By looking at what they’ve returned and what they’ve kept, you can offer personalized recommendations for other clothing items that match their style.

To be more specific, you can analyze: 

  • The overall return rate
  • The main return reasons
  • Most used return methods
  • Trends in increased returns (Ex. certain times of the year, certain promotions, or apparel styles)
  • The cost of your returns

Choosing an apparel partner who values data is a game changer. You’ll want to have transparent insights into production and quality control. 

8. Ask for Feedback

Directly ask customers why they’re returning products—and make sure you do it during the return process. The longer you wait to ask, the less likely you are to get feedback.

Consider adding a review section for shoppers to share their thoughts. You can also send post-purchase emails to gather feedback from your customers, what they liked or didn’t, and any improvements they suggest. 

Keep that communication flow going with your customers!


@victoryclothingph Read what people are saying about Victory Clothing! 100% Cotton 100% Comfort 100% Value! Join ka na rin. Add to cart na! #ladiesfashion #localbrand #victoryclothing #cotton #testimonial ♬ You Look Good – Anelda

It’s informative (and satisfying) to see customers happy with your products—especially if they recommend your brand to their friends and followers!

Scrappy Apparel Excels in E-Commerce—So Partner with Us Today!

Scrappy Apparel is transforming the clothing industry with our manufacturing, fulfillment, and e-commerce solutions. 

As an apparel-first partner, all our solutions cater to the unique needs of clothing brands. Our focus on quality and customer service has established us as the industry leader, offering a hassle-free experience for efficient order fulfillment.

Our service seamlessly integrates with your online store. Focus on marketing and sales while we handle the rest. Your customers will enjoy lightning-speed order fulfillment!


Scrappy’s 3PL MGMT program offers 4PL and 5PL capabilities that your brand will never outgrow! Our support goes beyond regular logistics to cover the whole supply chain, ensuring quality and synergy at every step.

You can count on us for inventory management, quality control, timely shipping, and professional return processing.

You can focus on growing your business while we handle your backend manufacturing and fulfillment operations.

Top Manufacturing Capabilities

Quality is the foundation of every thriving apparel brand, and it’s crucial for reducing returns. 

Our cutting-edge techniques ensure the creation of garments that align with your customers’ high standards for durability, comfort, and style.

With our private labeling program, you can make your garments look like they came from an in-house manufacturing facility. Your brand name and logo will be on the neck labels and hang tags.

From screen printing to sublimation, our expertise and tools are here to breathe life into the vision you have for your brand.

Maximize Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty with Scrappy Apparel!

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