Alibaba’s Group Chinese marketplace, AliExpress today gave the green light to merchants trading on the marketplace to offer their shoppers free returns in eight countries ahead of the possible wider rollout.
The move will see the marketplace sellers surprising and delighting their shoppers for the first time with the offer to return and refund their goods at no cost, moving towards a new business model adopted by many leading players.
“The objective is to improve the shopping experience offered by AliExpress and enable consumers to explore, with confidence, the platform’s wide range of brands and products, knowing they can get a free return and refund if they are not satisfied.”
– Cheer Zhang, the head of Global consumer and market operation, AliExpress.
The pilot programme will see the UK, the US, Canada, Spain, Germany, France, Russia and Australia debuting the service to woo shoppers.
Consumers in the eligible markets will see a free return sign next to merchants’ listings participating in the pilot. Product categories including electronics, jewellery, shoes and cosmetic products will qualify for free returns and refunds, which shoppers can claim for within fifteen days after receiving an item. Shoppers can expect a refund with a three-day working period, depending on a payment service they used to purchase a product.
The policy says that goods must be returned in a new condition, excluding products over $1,000 as well as products such as mobile phones, underwear, food and customised merchandise.