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Consumers reveal their ideal returns policies

12 May 2016 - 09:15 by Simon Crisp

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Having to return items to retailers is a reality that most people who have carried out safe shopping online will have faced at some point. Many consumers order items safe in the knowledge that if it turns out to be inappropriate for their needs, they will be able to send it back for a refund.

Now a report from Onestop Internet has found that 70 per cent of people would actually be willing to do more of their shopping online if they knew that they would be able to return items without having to pay for shipping costs.

Even with some returns policies requiring that shoppers have to pay out to send items back, 38 per cent of those questioned in the study said that they regularly used e-commerce sites to make purchases.

Almost two thirds of respondents said that they would be happy for the returns period to be shortened if it meant that they would be able to request the same item of clothing in several sizes and pay only for the one that fits them.

This desire is unsurprising given that 38 per cent said that they regularly found that buying fashion items via safe shopping online was difficult because, in most cases, the items they order are too small or large.

It could be argued that more consistent, accurate sizing of garments would help to alleviate this issue. But people are also used to the idea of being able to try on clothes at high street stores before they commit to a purchase, which is why this habit has translated to the world of e-commerce.

Some reputable retailers do offer free returns. And the rise of click and collect has made it easier to send back unwanted items via bricks and mortar outlets.