Returns expected to double on Takeback Tuesday

By Chris Dawson January 2, 2018 - 6:00 am

Today, the 2nd of January, has been dubbed “Takeback Tuesday”, the day that returns of online purchases are predicted to double compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December. Be prepared for an influx of incoming parcels this week – the quicker you process returns the quicker you can decide if the goods are resalable at full price or if they are distressed and perhaps need auctioning off to recoup as much value as possible.

According to a study commissioned by Royal Mail, 3 in 4 customers purchasing women’s clothing return an item. The study, part of Royal Mail’s annual Delivery Matters report, reveals clothing (75%), footwear (38%) and electrical goods (37%) are the most commonly returned items. When looking at the clothing category in more detail, dresses (37%) are the most commonly returned women’s item of clothing, followed by crop tops/t-shirts (22%) and trousers/jeans (20%). Male shoppers return trousers/jeans the most (28%), followed by shirts (23%) and coats/jackets (20%).

The main reason for returning clothes is because an item did not fit (42%). Wrong size (32%), not suitable (20%) and not what was expected (20%) are also popular reasons to return clothes.

Shoppers expect simplicity

There’s now an expectation of ease and efficiency when it comes to returns. 81% of consumers say they prefer returns labels to be included with purchases. Almost nine in ten would consider themselves likely to shop with a retailer again if re-sealable packaging was provided. Speed and guidance is also key. 96% believe it’s important to get notified of a refund upon their item being returned. 75% both consider it important to have guidance about which returns label to use and to get refunded quickly after a return. Tracking is also important and 73% want to be able to track the status of their item. Ease of return really matters and 60% of shoppers would be less likely to shop with a retailer again following a difficult returns experience.

Free returns affect retailer choice

Most shoppers expect free returns to be offered by retailers. 47% of shoppers would be unlikely to shop with a retailer again if it charged for returns. Further to this, three in five shoppers expect to receive free returns regardless of the amount spent. Where this isn’t offered, a third of shoppers would switch to a different retailer who does offer free returns.

“January is the busiest time of year for returns. Having an easy way to return online purchases is a crucial part of the online shopping experience. For retailers everywhere ensuring their returns experience is in line with consumers’ expectations is incredibly important.”
– Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels

  • James
    4 years ago

    or if they are distressed and perhaps need auctioning off to recoup as much value as possible.

    This is the problem. I have no problem with returns – but have a problem with buyers that damage the product or packaging and then return.

    As an online retailer we have very little control over this and will receive a bad review and then a chargeback if we stand up for ourselves – or if via a marketplace a resolution case of some description.

  • Rob
    4 years ago

    Of course customers love free returns just like they think free postage grows on trees. When customers ask for money off, sometimes ask them to send their own free postage label which then you don’t hear back from them.

    Have heard stories at my local dry cleaners where customers take items in to be cleaned with the tags on as they have been out in them and then complain that the cleaners have cut the tags on meaning they can’t take the item back.

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