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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 07, 2016

Consumers consider returns policy before making a purchase

Few retailers consider their returns policy as part of the customer journey, says cross-border ecommerce distribution specialists, B2C Europe, yet it's important to consumers.

by Helen Leggatt

Before they have even hit the "Buy" button, more than half (54%) of consumers have considered returning an item, according to B2C Europe's research findings contained in 'The Returns Guide' report.

"Understanding consumer preferences during their ecommerce journey is what will make or break your business. But when it comes to returns, we think a lot of retailers forget to include this as part of the journey," says Rick Kirk, sales director at B2C Europe.

The research was based on a survey, conducted by Bluebeez, among 2,442 people from across the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Germany. It also found that:

- 27% of consumers will not make a purchase from a retailer based outside their country if the cost of returns is high;

- 23% will not purchase from a retailer based outside their country if the returns policy is not easy to understand;

- 36% would be more likely to make a purchase from a website outside their country if they was certainty about the returns policy.

"This guide offers useful and informative information to help retailers understand customer preferences in terms of returns, and provides achievable solutions on how to satisfy their requirements," said Kirk.

Recent research among 5,000 consumers in the U.S. found that a 'no questions asked', easy to use returns process is also vital for online retailers. More than two-thirds of online shoppers surveyed (67%) said they take the time to review a retailer's return policy before making a purchase. Two-thirds (66%) said they want free return shipping and almost half (47%) want to be able to print off a return label.

Tags: ecommerce, Europe, online, retail, returns process, U.S.

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