The returns experience is critical to customer satisfaction and retention—and it’s becoming even more so in a Covid-19 economy, according to recent research from e-commerce solutions provider Doddle.
The Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based firm surveyed nearly 1,400 consumers in May and found that most are less than satisfied with the returns process overall. Nearly three-quarters—74%—said that retailers need to improve the returns process. In addition, 84% said the returns experience plays an important part in their opinion of a retailer. With a spike in e-commerce returns expected following the height of the Covid-19 pandemic this spring, the researchers say it’s time for retailers to focus on getting returns right.
“This insight is now more critical than ever, as Covid-19 has generated a significant bump in e-commerce sales, with e-commerce returns only expecting to increase, as well, as a result,” Dan Nevin, Doddle’s North America CEO, said in a statement announcing the findings. “Between the impending surge in returns, consumers’ experiences with the process, and the overall impact on satisfaction and retention, the timing has never been better for retailers to get a solid handle on their e-commerce returns processes and systems.”
The survey found that:
84% of respondents said a positive returns experience encourages them to shop with a retailer again.
74% of consumers noted that U.S. retailers should do more to improve their returns experiences.
When asked what would make respondents reconsider shopping with a retailer in the future:
60% said if they had to pay shipping fees to return an item;
40% said if it took a long time to secure a refund on their return:
38% said if the returns policy window was too short:
32% said if they need to obtain a return authorization from customer support;
30% said if they were not able to track a returned item.
When asked what they would prefer from retailers when returning an item:
68% of respondents said free returns;
45% said convenient locations to return an item(s) to;
44% said reusable/resealable packaging that can be used for returns:
41% said communications and visibility (tracking the parcel, confirmation of receipt, refund information);
38% said being refunded once the item has shipped;
33% said no need to print a returns label.
Doddle’s online survey was conducted by YouGov May 5-7.