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Walking the returns tightrope

For the last 3 years, Temando has been commissioning Research Now to conduct a survey targeting online shoppers and retailers across four countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, and Australia), with the objective to outline patterns and highlight differences between countries and from year to year.

While it is focused on Shipping, the areas cover from why people buy online to what they buy, cart abandonment, impact of free shipping… and returns.

Although the trends and expectations in terms of product returns can be quite different from one country to another, it is today a key aspect of the customer experience, and that impacts your logistics. At the same time, it is a topic that some retailers would like to be able to avoid, as they see returns as a migraine.

Our report explores how returns impact both retailers and consumers, and what eCommerce merchants can do to alleviate the tension, and convert the returns process into an opportunity to delight customers for retention.

Below, some key figures of the survey. To know more, download the infographic “Walking the returns tightrope” or access our just released 2017 Research here:

  • The United Kingdom are active returners, with 73% (second position behind the US at 75%).
  • In terms of retailer’s experience when it comes to returns, everything seems to confirm that implementing a customer-centric returns policy will give a competitive advantage.
  • A small section of retailers are running their returns programs efficiently.
  • 60% of retailers saw up to 10% increase in the cost of logistics, with almost half seeing increases of 5% to 10%.
  • “Product returns cost U.S. manufacturers and retailers $100 billion every year in lost sales, transportation, handling, processing and disposal.” - IndustryWeek.
  • The top reasons why products are returned seem to be: broken goods, incorrect sizing and a change of heart by customers. But there is a disparity between what consumers say and what retailers think of their customers behaviour.

The survey highlights some discrepancies in the approach and understanding of returns between consumers & retailers, and definitely shows that this topic needs to be fully part of the retailer’s approach to make a difference in its market.

Are you following these best practice rules when it comes to your returns strategy?

  • Brand Your Returns Experience
  • Put Customers in the Driver’s Seat
  • Automate Your Back End

“The most important factor for online shoppers isn’t price. Other factors - like returns policy, convenience and viable testimonials about the product - often surpass price in importance. The reason? They build trust.”

Would you like to find out more? Get in touch with us today and talk to one of our experts

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