10 January 2022, London – After a record-breaking peak season, a £7bn returns nightmare is threatening to punch a hole in online retailers’ post-Christmas revenues.
While 49 percent of UK consumers say they return products when they are not satisfied, 67 percent also admitted to abandoning their online orders when there is no return policy available, according to research by Sendcloud.
Complicated return policy only results in losers
With returns often costing time, money, and involving plenty of paperwork, both retailers and consumers alike are finding returns a headache to deal with – 58% of UK consumers indicated that returns are a big hassle to them.
More than half (55%) believe it is up to the retailer to arrange and pay for a product return, with most consumers (72%) expected to be reimbursed within a week of sending items back.
The lack of a clear return policy is becoming a missed revenue opportunity for online retailers. Three-quarters of consumers said they would order more frequently at stores if they offered free returns, while 71% said the same if returns were made quick and easy.
The most important aspects of the return policy to consumers were the cost (70%), providing a returns label (61%), and information on when they can expect to receive a refund (53%).
“Retailers often preconceive the returns process to be a real headache and are sometimes tempted to make their return policies more complicated in an attempt to reduce returns,” said Rob van den Heuvel, CEO, Sendcloud. “However, the exact opposite is true as our research has proved that a simple and clear return policy is actually key in driving conversions. In fact, what we’ve found is that retailers which offer a longer return period result in fewer returns because customers are less concerned with the product that still has to be returned! All in all, a simple and clear return policy actually pays off.”
Sendcloud is an all-in-one shipping platform for e-commerce businesses that want to scale. It is our mission to empower online retailers to compete by optimizing the full shipping journey from checkout to returns. Our solution turns e-commerce logistics from a bottleneck into an accelerator, making shipping a competitive advantage.
Founded in the Netherlands in 2012, Sendcloud has quickly become one of the fastest growing scale-ups and leading shipping solutions in Europe, with more than 23,000 customers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria. Customers range from small to enterprise-sized online retailers and in industries from fashion and electronics to food & drink.