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Online shopping and online returns

Online shipping return options are a must for major online retailers. The one thing they have not made clear is how many returns are too many. Recently on 10 Ecommerce Trends, they told us Returns hit $400 billion in 2017 (the equivalent of roughly 1 month of all U.S. retail sales), up 53% since 2015. eCommerce growth, free shipping, and free returns have created a dangerous side-effect: the cost of managing returns, “Your returns can and will be used against you.”

Are you a customer who is more likely to purchase an item if you can return it in the store? 62% of consumers are more likely to purchase online if they can return an item in-store. Forbes mentioned in 2018 in an article titled “The Ticking Time Bomb of Ecommerce Returns,” regarding the monster we have created. “Back in the day, outbound shipping was rarely free, and free returns and exchanges were virtually unheard of.” Not in today’s day.

Let us share some of our favorite E-commerce return statistics and trends created by invespcro.

  • At least 30% of all products ordered online are returned as compared to 8.89% in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Around 49% of retailers offer free return shipping now
  • Top reasons why consumers return products
    • 20% received damaged product
    • 22% of the product received looks different
    • 23% received the wrong item
    • 35% other reasons
  • 92% of consumers will buy something again if returns are easy whereas 79% of consumers want free return shipping
  • 62% of shoppers are more likely to shop online if they can return an item in-store

What part of these statistics are you a part of? What about your company? Back to Forbes, they said, “While some brands have the financial wherewithal to absorb the greater and greater hit – or will mitigate the costs in a way that does not materially impact the customer experience – most cannot. And when the bomb finally goes off, we should all be prepared for a fair amount of collateral damage.” What part are we in returns? Are we all part of this monster?