Better Understanding Returns of Online Purchases

13 Jun

Online retailers need to better deal with two key aspects of the customer purchase process: abandoning the shopping cart just before checking out and handling the returns of online purchases. This post focuses on the second factor — returns.

Navar surveyed almost 700 U.S. consumers who returned at least one online purchase over the preceding 12 months to understand people’s attitudes towards returns when shopping online. As summarized in a press release about the study:

“‘An online return is a critical moment in the customer journey. Retailers have an opportunity to impress and delight customers, especially high-value segments like millennials and affluent shoppers. They treat returns as a natural part of the buying process and have come to expect convenience and transparent communication,’ says Amit Sharma, CEO of Narvar. ‘If retailers can meet these high expectations, they can use returns to improve customer satisfaction, inspire loyalty and fuel new revenue streams.'”

“U.S. millennials make 54 percent of their purchases online. As they buy more online, they return more too. Yet, retailers are not meeting expectations, with 48 percent of millennials saying returns are a hassle. As many as 60 percent of millennials admit to keeping purchases they dislike because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of returning them, which is 18 percent higher than shoppers over the age of 30. High-income shoppers have similar perceptions and behaviors as millennials when it comes to returns. They are also 1.5 times more likely than the average consumer to return an online purchase. This signals a new opportunity for retailers to differentiate themselves by addressing consumers’ desire for convenience, communication and flexibility in the post-purchase experience.”


Click the image to read more of the highlights from the Narvar study.


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