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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : June 14, 2010

Online shoppers demand hassle-free returns policies

New research in the U.K. demonstrates just how important a hassle-free returns policy is when it comes to keeping customers. Drop the ball (or package) and you'll likely be shunned by unhappy shoppers in the future, found Collect+.

by Helen Leggatt

collect image.gifWhen secure parcel service Collect+ surveyed 2,000 online shoppers in the U.K. regarding their attitudes towards online retailers' returns processes, over half (58%) said they would avoid an outlet if they had a poor experience.

Reasons cited for their frustration included the hassle of returning an item along with cost. Collect+ found that over a quarter (28%) of respondents found having to return goods to a local Post Office to be a major frustration along with the cost of postage (18%). In fact, many (59%) felt returns should be free.

Such is their frustration that many online shoppers (47%) are checking returns policies while at the checkout before hitting the purchase button. Marketers should take heed and ensure details of consumers' responsibilities and liabilities are easy to understand and access during the buying process.

"Modern shoppers are demanding returns processes that match their lifestyles and will no longer tolerate queuing at their local post office to return defective or unwanted goods," said Mark Lewis, Collect+ CEO.

Incredibly, the survey also found that 20% of unwanted goods that aren't returned, for one reason or another, are thrown in the trash or given away to charity shops.

A joint venture between Home Delivery Network and PayPoint, Collect+ allows shoppers to collect from or return goods via a 3,500-strong network of PayPoint stores in the U.K.

Tags: consumer experience, customer loyalty, ecommerce, online retail, research, returns policy

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