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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 08, 2015

Free returns important to customer retention

Charging for returns is a great way to alienate your customers, according to a new report released by the Royal Mail.

by Helen Leggatt

According to the Royal Mail's recent 'Delivery Matters Returns Special' report, almost three-quarters (73%) of online shoppers in the UK expect to be able to return items they have purchased free of charge.

In fact, six out of 10 online shoppers said that if a retailer charged for returns they would be unlikely to purchase from them again. Similarly, just over half (56%) said that if a retailer only offered free returns on orders over of set value they would use a different retailer that offered condition-free returns.

"Convenient returns play a big part in making ecommerce attractive and as online shoppers become more and more comfortable with online purchasing they are starting to dictate how they want the process to work, from free returns to end-to-end tracking," said Nick Landon, managing director, Royal Mail Parcels.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed by Royal Mail said they prefer to drop off returns at the Post Office. To help retailers offer the service their customers' want, Royal Mail has recently launched a Tracked Returns service.

Earlier this year, research into returns by Voxware in the U.S. found that the consequences for retailers are far reaching. Nearly all (97%) of respondents said a satisfactory returns process is 'extremely' or 'very important' in the decision to shop with a retailer in the future. That's up from 84% who cited the same in Voxware's 2013 survey.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, online shopping, returns, U.K, U.S.

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  • John Baker

    Free returns??? With this number of fraudulent buyers?? Online retailers must not provide their customers with free returns it will be devastating for the small e-commerce business.



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