Cainiao launches free returns service and pricing transparency for Singapore customers

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Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has launched its first free goods return service for Taobao and Tmall customers in Singapore, alongside a more visible shipping cost quote for customers.

With Cainiao’s first goods return service in Singapore, consumers will be able to initiate a goods return request in-app for eligible products. Following this, Cainiao’s local logistics partners will reach out to confirm the pick-up details. Upon successful pick-up, consumers will receive a return order code to enter into the app, complete the return process and initiate their payment refund.

Cainiao has also upgraded its app’s pricing transparency for customers’ shipping preferences. When carting out their Taobao or Tmall items, customers must decide on either sea or air shipping at the payment checkout. This was typically done without finalized information on shipping costs for either option, which meant that customers were unable to make informed decisions. Without the option to assess the dimensions of the packaged item against the shipping costs and delivery timeliness of the options, customers risked having oversized air freight parcels rejected by the consolidation warehouse.

With the logistics and in-app upgrade, Cainiao has given customers an additional layer of control at the warehouse consolidation phase. The update was designed to ensure customers have the flexibility to switch between shipping modes based on the timeliness, cost and size of their packages. As a result, there will be more transparency in comparing the costs for air and sea freight and their corresponding shipping duration before the warehouse consolidates all the parcels for customs clearance and export.

Credit – Cainiao

This upgrade also ensures that the system is equipped with a more intelligent judgement capability to assess parcel information such as dimensions, weight and product type to determine the shipping costs, and incorporate big data analytics to analyze historical consumer behavior to automatically recommend the best shipping option for consumers.

Chris Fan, head of cross-border in Singapore, Cainiao Network, said, “Shipping fees and goods return services are key areas that have been flagged as consistent pain points for consumers around the world. Historically, goods return service has been a popular customer request but reverse logistics is an industry-wide challenge globally. Hence, we are truly delighted to be able to fulfil this request to give customers greater peace of mind when they purchase from overseas merchants via Taobao and Tmall.”

Fan added, “Consumers lament the transparency and flexibility associated with shipping. During our recent customer survey, over 70% of our customers in Singapore shared that they have the desire to amend their shipping methods after carting out their items, and an overwhelming 89% wish to see greater flexibility and transparency in this aspect.”

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