Today, we consider what consumers want in returning items. And this is a topic that we have studied before. Customer Returns. Better Understanding Returns of Online Purchases. Customer Service Means a Good Return Policy. After all, the purchase process is not complete until a customer is given the opportunity to return a product. And a stress-free return policy is likely to result in repeat business.

What Consumers Want in Returning Items Today

So, what factors are most important to consumers when they return products? We know that these factors will affect customer satisfaction, purchase loyalty, and reviews on social media.

Recently, conducted a study on the most important factors in the return process. And it compared these factors for store shopping versus online shopping.’s findings are highlighted in the following eMarketer chart.

According to eMarketer:

“Returns are a big thing for consumers. So much so that many avoid shopping at retailers with strict return policies in place. In fact, more than half of U.S. Internet users surveyed by coupon and discount Web site last November agreed that they avoid such places. While over a quarter of respondents agreed strongly.”

“When it comes to various return policy options, many consumers look for the same thing. For example, when shopping in-store, 37.9% of those polled said getting a full refund — not just an exchange or store credit — was their most important return-related concern. Almost as many consumers (33.6%) felt the same way with regard to digital shopping.”

“Whether shopping in-store or online for gifts (either for themselves or others in the past six months), a good number of respondents said it’s important that the retailer accepts returns without tags or original packaging. What’s more, nearly as many said it’s important that retailers accept returns for used items.”

What Consumers Want in Returning Items

Now, consider these questions. Should firms always give full refunds? Should they accept returns without receipts? And should firms always offer free shipping? Aren’t there times when firms’ costs outweigh their benefits?

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