Yotpo have published a new report Reducing eCommerce Returns: The 2020 Report. The research explores the consumer shopping and returns habits. It serves as a jumping-off point for brands that want to reduce returns and costs this upcoming holiday shopping season. Some analysts predict that by 2023, the rate of UK returns will have grown by more than 27%, totaling £5.6 billion [Inviqa].
In July 2020, Yotpo conducted a survey of 1000 eCommerce shoppers in the UK across four different demographics. Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers.
Key audience data
- Of the shoppers polled, nearly 42% said that they do most of their shopping online, with 11% claiming they do all of their shopping online.
- Clothes and accessories are far outshining every other industry as the number one thing people are buying right now (87%), followed by food and beverages (69%), cosmetics and skincare (52%) and home and garden (50%).
The research looked into the top reasons why shoppers make returns. Yotpo then compiled data-backed strategies to reduce returns, as well as how to drive overall LTV and engagement despite them.
Key research findings
Some key highlights from the report regarding include:
- The top three reasons why consumers return products:
- #1 – it didn’t fit (66%),
- #2 – it was not as described (39%),
- #3 – it looked different in person (36%)
- When making purchases 76% of respondents cited “detailed product descriptions” are very important to their decision to buy. This was followed by “return and refund policy” (69%) and “customer reviews” (59%), greater than the overall average of 58%.
- Customer reviews and customer photos are driving Millennial and GenZ purchases. Both say customer reviews are very important (67% for each group). Thirty-five percent of Millennials and 33% of GenZ say customer photos are very important, greater than the overall average 27%.
- 90% of shoppers are more likely to order from a store that makes returns easy.
When asked, “If you bought online from a brand for the first time and you’ve had to make a return. How likely is it that you’ll buy from them again?” 30% of our survey respondents said “not likely.”
When it comes to helping customers make the right purchase decisions, it’s critical to bridge the online-offline gap with reviews and ratings. This can be supplemented with user-generated photos and videos. All of these can help relay important product information, while simultaneously conveying a sense of authenticity. This helps potential buyers to envision how your products might look in real life.
This year it’s estimated that online spending for holiday shopping will be massive. Spending in May was $82.5 billion, greater than online spending for the entire 2019 holiday shopping season. But, as online sales grow, so do returns and their delivery costs. Online returns – and their costs – are skyrocketing for brands and solutions to combat them are desperately needed.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business
There’s not a single area of business not affected by product returns. From the call centre dealing with return enquiries, the warehouse that facilitates returns, logistics and operations. From engagement rates, to brand sentiment, to overall profit: and the problem of product returns is only getting worse. The golden rule for businesses is to reduce the rate of product returns. As a result, they need to intuitively guide shoppers to the perfect product the first time around. They only get one chance to make a good first impression. The report make interesting reading. It digs deep to determine the top reasons why shoppers make returns. It then compiles data-backed strategies to reduce returns, as well as how to drive overall LTV and engagement despite them.