Nowadays, returns have become an integral part of the online shopping process and play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining customers. A recent study conducted by Royal Mail revealed that 81% of shoppers believe that a positive returns experience would significantly increase their likelihood of shopping with a retailer again in the future. On the flip side, 81% of consumers are less inclined to shop with a retailer that charges for returns, and nearly half (47%) stated that offering free returns would greatly impact their choice of one retailer over another.

With the post-Christmas period in full swing, the surge in returns is anticipated to reach its peak this week. Termed as ‘Takeback Tuesday’, it is expected that the number of returns for unwanted or ill-fitting Christmas presents purchased online will skyrocket by a staggering 52% compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December. While this figure is higher than the monthly average, it remains to be seen how it will compare to the previous year.

Convenience plays a major role in the returns process, with 61% of people expressing a preference for having their return parcels collected from their homes rather than having to drop them off themselves. This preference aligns with the importance of providing an easy and convenient returns experience for customers. Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, highlights the critical nature of this aspect for retailers, emphasizing that meeting shoppers’ expectations is vital for fostering repeat business.

As the online retail industry continues to grow, it is imperative for retailers to prioritize a seamless and hassle-free returns process. Recognizing and adapting to customer preferences, such as offering free returns and home collection services, can significantly enhance the overall shopping experience and ultimately drive customer loyalty.

In conclusion, the expected surge in returns this week serves as a reminder of the importance of a positive returns experience for online shoppers. Retailers that prioritize convenience and meet customer expectations have a greater chance of securing repeat business, while those that neglect this aspect may risk losing potential customers. As the online shopping landscape evolves, the ability to provide a seamless and customer-centric returns experience will become increasingly crucial for retailers aiming to thrive in this fiercely competitive industry.

Useful links:
Shopify: How to Create a Return Policy and Refund Policy (Templates + Examples)
Freepik Blog: Online Shopper’s Guide to a Seamless Return Process