Royal Mail has predicted that returns of online purchases will increase by 63% on what it calls ‘Takeback Monday’ – Monday, January 4. This is compared with the average number of return parcels per day in December.
According to a study commissioned by Royal Mail, the average online shopper in the UK sends back an online purchase every month. Three in five online shoppers would be unlikely to use a retailer again if they have a difficult returns experience. According to Royal Mail, the returns experience is a key part of the online shopping puzzle.
Nick Landon, chief commercial officer, Royal Mail, said, “January is the busiest time of the year for returns – and we expect it to be even bigger this year given the significant move to online shopping over the 2020 festive period. Having a clear, user-friendly returns policy is a vital part of the online shopping experience. For retailers, ensuring their returns experience is in line with consumers’ expectations is key.”
The study revealed that 61% of online shoppers returned clothing, 38% returned electrical goods and 35% returned footwear. The most common reasons for making returns is for clothing not fitting properly (39%) and non-clothing goods not working properly (23%).
There are many factors that come into play for how people return items and who they choose to return them with. Being able to send back unwanted goods for free is top of the list (85%) and having proof of return is just behind on 84%. Ease of returns is a strong motivator for 80% of shoppers, whilst having friendly staff is important to 70%.
In October Royal Mail launched a new service which aims to make returns easier for customers. The Parcel Collect service gives online shoppers the option of having their returns collected from their doorstep. Royal Mail’s Parcel Postboxes are another option for posting return items.