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Many e-commerce platforms have launched “refund only” services. What are their intentions?

Many e-commerce platforms have launched “refund only” services. What are their intentions?


Recently, “Taobao will support refund-only” was trending on Weibo. JD.com followed suit and expanded the scope of refund-only. This means that Taobao, JD.com, Pinduoduo, Douyin and other e-commerce platforms all support refund-only. Serve. Just on the evening of the 27th, JD.com also announced that starting from January 1, 2024, the annual fixed salary of JD.com’s front-line business personnel such as procurement and sales will increase significantly.

Facing the increasingly fierce fighting, are the e-commerce giants already in a hurry?

  Several e-commerce platforms launch “refund only” services

Recently, Taobao changed the “Taobao Platform Dispute Handling Rules”. The new regulations state that after conducting a multi-faceted comprehensive assessment of the goods sold by the seller, it will be determined that the goods recently sold have a high probability of being improperly described, confusing and misleading, and fake. Based on this determination, Taobao will directly provide quick return refund or refund support to the buyer after-sales service that meets the relevant circumstances.

Taobao changes its rules.Screenshot of Taobao platform

This means that sellers who receive too many negative reviews or violation records on the Taobao platform may face direct returns and refunds or only refunds once they receive complaints.

In addition, the above-mentioned rules also state that if the seller delivers the goods without the buyer’s consent, and the buyer fails to receive the goods or refuses to accept the goods, the related expenses and risks of damage, damage and loss of the goods incurred shall be borne by the seller. It is your own responsibility and the order supports refund to the buyer.

Another e-commerce giant, JD.com, has also revised its rules. On the evening of the 27th, Sino-Singapore Finance learned from JD.com insiders that JD.com has launched a refund-only service since 2014 and has continued to use it to this day. This revision of the after-sales and dispute handling rules further extends the refund-only policy from JD.com’s self-operated services to also apply to merchants on JD.com, allowing users to achieve more comprehensive and extensive worry-free shopping on JD.com.

  Question Pinduoduo and become Pinduoduo?

Previously, Pinduoduo and Douyin had “refund only” services. A user said in an interview with a reporter from Sino-Singapore Finance that there are three after-sales options for things bought on Douyin, including the option of refund only (no return required), and the other two options are return, refund and exchange. That’s it.

Photo provided by interviewed consumers.The picture shows a screenshot of Douyin e-commerce platform

This means that mainstream e-commerce platforms have launched refund-only services. This service was originally Pinduoduo’s “speciality”, so Taobao and JD.com’s move caused many users to ridicule: Questioning Pinduoduo, will it become Pinduoduo?

This move is extremely beneficial to consumers’ rights protection and has naturally received “likes” from many consumers. Some netizens said that the new regulations are conducive to protecting consumers, and the market should be about survival of the fittest. How to strike a balance between merchants and consumers will actually test the platform.

However, some netizens said, “Blinally favoring buyers will only cause sellers to reduce quality and drive up costs, which is not a good thing.”

Why push “refund only”?

Some analysts pointed out that for consumers, refunding only reduces the cost of rights protection and simplifies the after-sales process; for e-commerce platforms, it can lower the shopping threshold and dispel users’ concerns.

Weibo screenshot

Taobao told Sino-Singapore Finance that these are based on the protection of buyers’ rights and interests and the reasonable reduction or exemption of buyers’ proof threshold. As for how to operate, Taobao said that it will be based on the platform’s own big data capabilities, and will use single or multi-dimensional measures such as information or product-level penalties, sellers’ store quality indicators (such as quality points), a large number of customer complaints from buyers, and perception of counterfeit issues. Combined to determine whether to issue a refund only.

In fact, since this year, major e-commerce giants have made frequent moves. Both JD.com and Taobao have made adjustments. Liu Qiangdong, the founder of JD.com, played the “low price” card at the end of 2022. In November 2023, JD.com’s retail CEO was replaced again; and Alibaba also recently replaced the CEO of Taotian Group.

This time, in addition to changing the rules, on the evening of the 27th, JD.com Group announced that starting from January 1, 2024, the annual fixed salary of JD.com’s front-line business personnel such as procurement and sales will increase sharply by nearly 100%. At the beginning of 2024, all JD.com retail employees will receive an average salary increase of Less than 20%.

The relevant person in charge of Douyin e-commerce also told Sino-Singapore Finance that in 2023, Douyin e-commerce will focus on upgrading the consumer experience of the entire shopping link from pre-purchase to after-sales.

Of course, no matter what kind of measures are taken, there is only one purpose – to compete for the market and consumers. Who can be “invincible” in the upcoming 2024? It remains to be verified by time.



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