It’s that all important time of the year for ecommerce when consumers start purchasing gifts. Unfortunately that means retailers need to start thinking about dreaded returns, something that never fails to creep up in January. Thanks to the unsettled economy, it’s even more important to be equipped to deal with them. ZigZag Global have revealed some interesting insights into the subject.
Although staying on top of shopping behaviour is a fundamental step for any ecommerce business, it is also vital that we look at how consumers are treating returns. In their Retail Returns Study 2022, ZigZag have releveled that 76% of UK shoppers will be checking a company’s returns policy before making a purchase and 44% admit that they did not make a purchase if they did not like what they saw on the policy page. You’ll need to find a balance between meeting consumer expectations and ensuring you don’t hurt your business financially. Getting customer returns right can increase sales and help loyalty.
Returns are certainly not a retailers best friend but providing a smooth returns journey can make a lot of difference to how a consumer treats a brand in the future. Sadly 61% of shoppers would boycott a retailer if they suffered a poor returns experience and on average, it costs an ecommerce retailer around 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
Why a consumer returns
Its good to have an understanding of why and what consumers return, it will give you the intel you need to better deal with them.
Fashion has the highest levels of return, and sizing is the biggest reason. 56% of people returned items purchased online due to poor fit. Having better instructions and sizing information can help with this, although it is still a common issue for the online fashion industry with plenty of room for improvement. Beauty and cosmetics tend to have the lowest return rates, usually due to retailers ensuring their return policies restrict returns in these categories.
Another common reason for returns is damage. 46% of people say that they returned items purchased online due to them arriving damaged or faulty. To help with this retailers can invest in quality control as well as good packaging and delivery. That being said, picky consumers can be a big factor for returns too. Consumers can often perceive an item as lacking and not up to their standard even if others are entirely happy with a product.
Sadly 61% of shoppers would boycott a retailer if they suffered a poor returns experience.
Must explain the poor sales on ebay then. Shoppers must be getting fed up with all the private sellers avoiding buyer remorse returns even though they are clearly a business. Even come across some private accounts with shop in the username but no returns policy.
Just stop and ask yourself what is the environmental impact of returns? What is the carbon footprint? I’m not talking about the odd return due to damage or other reasonable need. I’m talking about the person who makes literally hundreds of returns a year. The person who will order a pair of trousers in six different colours just to get that “correct one” and return the other five. The person who “just wanted to see what it looked like on” or the worst of people who use the item for one time only and then return it for free. The person who needs a tool to do a specific one time job or clothes for a special night out. We’ve seen it all in our time. I think Alan P used to sell shoes on eBay. He will tell you about returns. Of course we all have to accept them, but it does seem that sometimes they are out of control.
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