21 April 2022, London – Retailers are bleeding money from e-commerce returns, an estimated £5.2 billion a year on average, but they could be bridging the gap by actually lengthening returns policies and returning money back faster to attract more business.
However, data from a survey of the top 100 retailers in the UK suggests that retailers could be missing out on revenue with short, or even hidden, returns policies.
More than half (67%) of UK consumers said they wouldn’t order at an online store if the return policy wasn’t easy to find, while one out of four (24%) UK consumers claim they wouldn’t order at a store if the return period is less than 60 days according to new research.
The survey by e-commerce delivery platform Sendcloud showed that, on average, UK consumers want to wait a maximum of 6 days to get their refund, yet almost half of UK retailers (45%) take up to 14 days to arrange refunds and whilst this is in line with UK law, it doesn’t result in happy customers.
58% of UK consumers claim returns are a big hassle to them, yet just 53% of online stores offer their customers online returns.
Adding to this, only 9% of stores offer consumers the possibility to get their returns picked up at home, whereas 31% of UK consumers would prefer this option.
“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,” ven den Heuvel concluded.
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.