The True Story of a Seamless In Store Return at Old Navy

Dec 14, 2012 1:01 AM  By

On Nov. 26, or a day better known to the ecommerce world as Cyber Monday, I was given the assignment to use my iPhone 4S to shop online using any personal email promotion I received for that day in my inbox. I picked Old Navy’s30% Purchase Cyber Monday Only email blast and hit the web to go shopping.

Best. Work. Day. Ever.

The only catch to the best work assignment I have ever received: this is all about omnichannel, so I needed to buy on my mobile and return in store to show cross-channel synergy.

I ended up buying the Men’s Patterned Crew Sweater in Ink Blue and requested standard shipping. Once the package arrived to our Connecticut offices on December 3, my next goal was to return in store. The mobile shopping experience itself was seamless and my only hope was that the returns process would be just as simple.

Old Navy offers a wide variety of return options for anyone who decides to buy online. Shoppers of the clothing store have 45 days to make a return and can do so by mail (which is free), free exchanges both in store and by mail, or you can return in store.

I told some friends the plan and many expressed concern that I couldn’t have picked the worst time to return an article of clothing given that the holidays are literally right around the corner. I mustered up the courage and headed to a local Old Navy in Fairfield, CT around lunch time on a recent weekday.

The process took, from the moment I stepped out of my beat up ’92 Jeep Wrangler to exiting the store, about 10 minutes, tops.

The actual in store return process was easy and here is a dialogue of the exchange:

Me: “Hi, I’d like to make a return.”

Store Associate: “Sure, do you have the receipt and your credit card?”

Me: “I do.”

And that was it. My card was refunded the $ 24.19 to cover the cost of the sweater and tax, leaving me to pay for the shipping and handling costs of $7. In just a matter of minutes I was heading back to the office.

When it comes to operations and fulfillment, the Old Navy shopping experience, especially happening on one of the busiest days of the year, was great. I didn’t hit any snags, the site ran without any hiccups and the checkout process was a breeze. It was good to see that with so many return options, the one that is probably the most convenient for many shoppers is seamless.

Erin Lynch is the associate editor at Multichannel Merchant. Erin can be reached by emailing her at You can also follow her on Twitter at @LynchMCM or on LinkedIn.