Free shipping is so critical to online shopping that consumers are even willing to spend more on a site to meet the minimum-purchase threshold, while the option to return goods at no extra cost can tempt them to increase their basket size—oftentimes at the expense of the retailer.
That’s why PayPal has decided to bring “Return Shipping on Us” stateside, a service that refunds customers’ shipping costs for up to four returns of items purchased between October 13 and January 31 from eligible merchants using the payment method.
Since launching last year in Australia, France, Italy and Spain, the service is now available in nearly 40 markets worldwide, the company said Tuesday.
“Return Shipping on Us can save consumers money and give them more confidence when they shop knowing they will not incur return shipping costs if their purchase was not quite right,” Jo Lambert, vice president of consumer product and engineering at PayPal, said in a statement. “Options like refunds on return shipping costs, formerly considered a perk or promotional tool offered by retailers, are now integral to getting a consumer to click that buy button online.”
It can also help eliminate cross-border sales barriers for global online retailers.
To use the service, PayPal account owners fill out an online form and provide a copy of their sales receipt. They have 14 days to submit a refund request (capped at $30 per transaction) from the date on which the returned item was mailed back.
“By providing this option, we are also supporting our merchants who are not already providing this type of service, a potential lucrative revenue driver that can help grow their customer base to shoppers that may not have purchased from them previously, out of concern over shipping costs,” Lambert continued.
Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Target are among some of the U.S. retailers that currently accept PayPal as payment online.