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Latest Issue: Jan/Feb 18

Takeback Tuesday returns expected to double

On Tuesday 2nd January - Takeback Tuesday - returns of online purchases are predicted to double compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December, according to Royal Mail.

According to its study, 3 in 4 customers purchasing women's clothing return an item. Indeed its Delivery Matters reveals that clothing (75 per cent) and footwear (37 per cent) are the most commonly returned items. When looking at the clothing category in more detail, dresses at 37 per cent are the most commonly returned women's clothing, followed by crop tops/t-shirts at 22 per cent, and trousers/jeans at 20 per cent.  Male shoppers return trousers/jeans the most (28 per cent), followed by shirts (23 per cent), and coats/jackets at 20 per cent.

The main reason for returning clothes is because an item didn't fit, 42 per cent. Wrong size 32 per cent, not suitable 20 per cent, and not what was expected at 20 per cent, are also primary reasons to return clothes.

Shoppers expect simplicity

There's now an expectation of ease and efficiency when it comes to returns. 81 per cent of consumers say they prefer returns labels to be included with purchases. Almost nine in ten would consider themselves likely to shop with a retailer again if re-sealable packaging was provided. Speed and guidance is also key with 96 per cent believing that it's important to get notified of a refund upon their item being returned. 75 per cent both consider it important to have guidance about which returns label to use and to get refunded quickly after a return. Tracking is also important and 73 per cent want to be able to track the status of their item. Ease of return really matters and 60 per cent of shoppers would be less likely to shop with a retailer again following a difficult returns experience.

Free returns affect retailer choice

Most shoppers expect free returns to be offered by retailers. 47 per cent of shoppers would be unlikely to shop with a retailer again if it charged for returns. Further to this, three in five shoppers expect to receive free returns regardless of the amount spent. Where this isn't offered, a third of shoppers would switch to a different retailer who does offer free returns.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels said "January is the busiest timer of year for returns. Having an easy way to return online purchases is a crucial part of the online shopping experience. For retailers everywhere ensuring their returns experience is in line with customers' expectations is incredibly important."