A retailer’s returns policy has a significant impact on the customer experience and is a big factor in a whether that customer buys again. It’s no exaggeration to say that returns can make or break customer loyalty, so not offering returns, or having a complex process, is simply not a viable option.
According to the Pulse of the Online Shopper survey carried out by UPS, 68% of shoppers view returns policies before placing a sales order. Metapack’s Guide to Returns found that 50% of shoppers had abandoned a purchase due to a lack of choice of returns channels, and 56% of consumers had been deterred from shopping due to a retailer’s returns policies.
When customers know it will be easy to return goods, they are more likely to purchase. If they have a good customer experience with returns, 92% will buy again, but a bad customer experience when returning goods means many won’t buy from that retail store again. Younger shoppers are more demanding, with 60% of 18-25s saying a bad returns customer experience would lose their business, reducing to 30% in the 65+ age bracket.
Retailers have to accept that the need for a customer-friendly, smooth, fast and seamless returns process is essential to the retention and lifetime value of the customer.