The value of online returns is to jump 27.3% over the next five years to £5.6bn, fuelled by clothing and footwear, new research has found.
A report from analyst GlobalData surveyed 10,000 shoppers. It called for retailers to prepare for the increase in online returns to handle higher volumes and retain high customer satisfaction.
Emily Salter, retail analyst for GlobalData, said: “Clothing and footwear is the most-returned sector, which is unsurprising due to the importance of fit – especially for online pureplays, as customers do not have a chance to try items on or judge the quality of products. Females account for the majority of clothing and footwear returners – partly because they make up a higher proportion of online clothing and footwear shoppers, but also due to the numerous fits of female clothing.”
She added: “The ease of returning items is important to consumers – 78.3% of online shoppers agree that retailers need to improve the ease of repacking items for returns, and 53.3% state that the hassle of returning goods puts them off shopping off online.
“It is important that retailers offer a range of returns options, as although returns via post dominate, many consumers use alternative methods such as returns via a convenience store. Free returns are common across most sectors and consumers have come to expect this, with 72.9% of online shoppers agreeing that they wouldn’t order from a retailer if they had to pay for returns.”