ParcelHero predicts Christmas returns will see e-commerce stores close

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A report named Retailers Reach the Point of No Returns by courier price site ParcelHero has found that at least 200 e-commerce businesses don’t expect to survive the massive growth in returns over the Christmas period.

Returns of ParcelHero shipments reached 47% in the first days of 2018, with traders saying there was pressure to pay the cost of returns for unwanted goods or risk losing their five-star ratings.

David Jinks, head of consumer research at ParcelHero, commented, “Our new report is based on the results of our exclusive interviews with a thousand retailers of all sizes, and many hundreds of consumers found a huge gulf between the expectations of shoppers and the reality for smaller retailers.

“Web stores operating on wafer-thin margins say they are unable to cover the loss caused by returned items. But shoppers used to the flexible returns policies of e-commerce giants such as Amazon and ASOS are 80% more likely to shop at a store with a free returns policy, with more than half of them saying it would make or break the purchase.”

According to the report, many small businesses say the 14-day returns period for online purchases under the Consumer Contracts Regulations is being exploited. Traders claim they had Christmas candle holders returned as unwanted with wax still on them, and skis and skiing jackets returned, obviously used, just after the Christmas break. Over 10% of customers surveyed admitted they buy clothes in several sizes and expect stores to pay the return for the ones that don’t fit.

Read the report here:

January 23, 2018

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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