September 27, 2018
In 2017, the 260 million consumers in Europe who shopped online estimated they spent €181 billion on web-based purchases. That’s €181 billion in a single year.
Just as with traditional brick and mortar stores, high purchase volumes mean that merchants must be able to handle the inevitable returns. Research shows that a straightforward and consumer-friendly returns process has become a significant factor in decision-making when consumers select an online retailer. As a result, a sleek and simple returns process becomes an invaluable marketing tool for ecommerce businesses.
In Europe, a large percentage of overall purchasing decisions is influenced by the clarity of the seller’s returns process.
Effective returns management improves credibility and enhances customer loyalty while fulfilling an important role in making the consumer feel like her or she has more control over the purchase process. If a garment does not fit or a furnishing item is the wrong color, it must be easy to return for an exchange, credit, or refund.
The percentage of e‑commerce consumers seeking returns has risen in recent years. This is due in part to consumers adopting habits that allow them to replicate the in-person buying experience through strategies like ordering footwear or clothing in several sizes and then keeping only what fits best.
E‑commerce businesses have helped to facilitate this change by simplifying the returns process and offering low – or no – cost returns shipping.
Interestingly, the percentage of returns is highest in countries where consumers show the highest average spend per year and those in which the highest percentage of inhabitants shop online, for example the United Kingdom, Germany, the Nordic countries, and the Netherlands. On that basis, it appears the number of returns is correlated in large part to the degree of maturity of the e‑commerce market.
Experienced e‑commerce businesses understand how important returns are in creating
long-term customer relationships. Clear returns information and processes are a competitive differentiator for online stores in all markets. In most countries surveyed, more than half of consumers said that a simple return process was an important factor in selecting the online store from which to make their purchase…
Today, consumers in mature markets give the highest ratings for simplicity of the returns procedure, while consumers in less evolved markets like France and Italy award poorer grades for information from the online stores regarding returns processing.
At Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services, we specialise in returns management for online merchants. We handle thousand of returns for our clients on a daily basis and are focussed on getting returned items ready for sale again within a short time frame.
Visit our website to look at our services to see how we can work with you to ensure your returns process functions as a positive marketing tool to grow your business.
Resource: Statista: E‑commerce in Europe 2017 report // Postnord