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Consumers demand clearer returns policies from online retailers

08 September 2016 - 09:49 by Simon Crisp

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The latest study from B2C Europe has found that the majority of people who carry out safe shopping online on a regular basis consider the prospect of returning the items they are buying prior to finalising the transaction. Most agree that they would be more willing to embrace e-commerce if retailers clarified the returns process as much as possible.

Twenty seven per cent of respondents said that they were dissuaded from shopping with an international retailer because it was expensive to return unwanted or unsatisfactory items. A fifth said that they will avoid using a site if they are confused by the policies governing returns which the retailer has put in place.

Analysts found that there are a number of factors which are likely to cut the number of returns that an e-commerce site receives, including whether or not visitors are able to leave reviews of products or services.

For clothing and fashion brands, having comprehensive sizing solutions so that people only order garments that fit them is another important factor in the reduction of returns, Internet Retailing reports.

Of course, eliminating all returns is impossible, which is why experts argue that retailers should streamline this experience and give customers more information so that they can shop online with confidence.

This will not only lead to fewer returns being made, but will also mean that retailers have a better chance of retaining customers and keeping them loyal in the long term.

Report spokesperson, Rick Kirk, said that retailers can often overlook the returns process and fail to factor it in to the overall journey that customers take when they make a purchase. But by providing them with information and acting transparently, shopper satisfaction is sure to be greatly improved.