Online shoppers more likely buy from retailers that provide at-home returns collection

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New research from parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP) has revealed that 88% of Australians would be more likely to purchase from a retailer that provided an at-home returns collection service, and two in three (64%) would pay for the service.

The finding was derived from a survey of an independent panel of 1,010 online shoppers, commissioned by CP, with the aim to gauge whether a service that organized returns to be collected directly from their doorstep – even at a cost – would positively impact consumer purchasing behavior.

CP found that more than one in four respondents (28%) would pay more than A$10 (US$7.20) for such a service. In the last year, 42% of Australians returned online purchases, according to Statista, and with more consumers than ever shopping online and making returns, the survey reveals a growing desire for at-home services that offer convenience and security.

The younger the shopper, the more likely they are to see value in the convenience of at-home parcel collection: 70% of 18-50-year-olds were willing to pay for a collection service, compared to just 56% of over-50s. A third (32%) of 18-30-year-olds and 31% of 31-50-year-olds were also willing to pay more than A$10 (US$7.20) for such a service, compared to just 23% of over-50s.

Jessica Ip, chief transformation officer at CP, said, “The last two years of restrictions and heightened fears around contracting the [Covid-19] virus has propelled more consumers to consider services that reduce contact and don’t require them to leave their homes as much. Consumers are also demanding more convenience in both parcel deliveries and returns. The fact that so many shoppers are willing to pay for services that simplify this process signifies how priorities have shifted over the last two years.

“At CP, we pride ourselves on our own returns service, which allows shoppers to arrange for their returns to be collected directly from their doorstep. We recommend retailers consider offering customers parcel collection services to give them more control over their returns, ensure the process is convenient and keep them safe and healthy, particularly during the upcoming flu season. It allows for a more streamlined returns process and, with more Australians returning to workplaces and generally juggling multiple priorities, shoppers won’t be overwhelmed by the thought of dropping off parcels during inconvenient business hours.

“I also encourage retailers to look for ways to innovate and improve the customer experience, through offering more alternative delivery methods, partnering with a courier service known for transparent parcel notifications and a strong track record for fast deliveries, or considering new technologies that allow for a more convenient, swift and safe online shopping and returns process.”

The full survey results, including breakdowns across age and state, can be found here:

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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