07 February 2023, Mumbai
Myntra, an Indian fashion e-commerce platform owned by Walmart’s Flipkart, is penalizing customers who return items too frequently.
In November of last year, Myntra changed its returns policy, charging a “convenience fee” of 299 rupees ($3.66) for customers who have return rates three times higher than average. The company also revoked some of their “Myntra Insider privileges” and warned them about account suspension if the high returns continue.
This change has frustrated customers and caused some to switch to competitors with free returns. Analysts believe that companies are curbing returns to save costs, due to the recent economic slump and increasing inflation.
Historically, online retailers in India promoted free returns and longer return windows to encourage shoppers. In India, 25-40% of clothes sold online are returned, with one in four items sent back. However, the cost of processing returns is eating into the margins of online retailers. To cut the cost of returns, some companies are offering discounts to users who forfeit their right to return.
Myntra did not answer specific questions about the impact of return fees, instead, a company spokesperson said that “any change in policy or practice that we implement is undertaken keeping in mind the interests of the larger customer base and their response to it.”