Many Happy Returns report from Netdespatch

Returns Report DemographicsWith the busiest retail season of the year rapidly approaching, Netdespatch have published new research which shows the need for retailers to educate consumers on the returns options available to them.

Consumers are more likely to purchase if they know returns are available and on marketplaces the job is pretty much done for us. Amazon and eBay both have relatively easy returns flows in place and sellers are forced to follow their mandates as to return policies. It should be the same on retailers own websites, as a business we have no choice but to accept returns so why not spell out the consumer’s legal rights and ensure that they know what options we provide?

Whilst the Post Office remains the most popular way to return an item, The research showed that an increased number of returns methods does not influence whether a shopper will return goods with 81% stating that it had no influence on them.

Reasons given for returns are interesting with the most common reason being a faulty product or item not fit for purpose (76%). This was followed by wrong size (66%) and product doesn’t match description (47%).

Over 65’s are the most likely to return goods that are faulty (81%), meaning that the younger people appear not to be bothered to return goods. It would be interesting to see further research here to see if over 65’s buy more expensive goods making the effort of a return more worthwhile or if conversely younger people are better with tech and products simply aren’t faulty but just need configuring. What it does tell us is that if your target market is an older demographic then perhaps more customer service and tech support could lower returns rates.

Women are far more likely to order multiple versions of a product (18%) and return for this reason versus just 9% of men. Also women find that products fail to reach expectations more often than men with 44% returning goods for this reason versus 36% of men.

The report makes interesting reading and highly recommended to download to read when you have time.