New Consumer and Retail Benchmarking Research Also Reveals Growing Demand for Home Pickup and Third-Party Drop-Off Sites for Returns
NEW YORK, October 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — About 25% of shoppers are willing to pay for convenience like scheduled door-to-door pickup when returning items, but less than half of retailers currently charge return or return shipping. replenishment. This means retailers have a clear opportunity to make customers happier by offering more choices when it comes to returns, while getting inventory back in stock faster. These are among the conclusions of the 6th edition Returns Status consumer survey report Narvarthe pioneer of post-purchase customer experience, and the company 2022 Performance Benchmark Report, which analyzes the published return policies of 200 retailers.
In 2021, the value of goods returned to retailers has reached a huge $761 billion, up 78% from 2020. While returns are an ongoing operational challenge, they also provide retailers with an opportunity to reconnect with customers and cultivate their trust and loyalty by providing a seamless returns experience. Narvar’s research found that 96% of customers would buy again from a company offering a ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’ return policy, suggesting that retailers are wise to expand the range of return methods. they offer, customizing the process to meet the diverse needs of first-time buyers, occasional buyers, and highly loyal VIPs.
“Our research shows that shoppers undoubtedly benefit from retailers’ generous return policies,” said Amit Sharma, CEO of Narvar. “Return windows are getting longer, refunds are faster, and technology is making returns easier than ever, which improves customer satisfaction. There is a significant opportunity here for retailers to increase loyalty and retain their revenues by offering differentiated and personalized return policies that meet different customer needs.”
Other key insights from Narvar’s research include:
- Feedback is ubiquitous and frequent: 26% of shoppers surveyed said they had returned more than four items in the past six months, with clothing and footwear accounting for 46% of recent returns.
- Consumers are increasingly adopting third-party drop-off locations: 37% of shoppers surveyed returned their last online purchase by dropping it off at a third-party store (eg, a UPS store). Adoption of third-party filing has grown steadily for four years now, from 11% in 2019 to 19% in 2022, reflecting buyer demand for a wider range of convenient return methods.
- The majority of buyers still request refunds rather than exchanges: 63% of respondents said they requested a refund on their last return from a non-Amazon retailer. This suggests that retailers have a significant opportunity to impact the bottom line by converting these refund requests into exchanges, even if they are for items of different value.
- Instant refunds and home pick-up are the benefits of consumer-favorite loyalty programs: When asked to identify what makes a VIP/loyalty program great, respondents cited instant refunds (77%) and doorstep withdrawal (76%) as the top benefits. However, many customers will gladly accept store credit if it ships instantly or provides additional value (eg, an additional 10% of the refund amount to spend in store).
- A poor fit remains the main reason for returns: For the sixth consecutive year, “fit and size” was the main reason for returning respondents (45%), both among first-time buyers (22%) and among repeat customers (78%). The trend indicates that retailers have yet to maximize their investments in AR and fit technology or unlock the full value of sizing data provided by customers.
- Bracketing is here to stay: 63% of buyers surveyed admitted to bracketing, up from 55% in 2019. A growing number of buyers (15%) say bracketing is “just the way they buy now.”
For 2022 Returns Status report, Narvar conducted an online survey in July of 2,023 consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 who had returned at least one online purchase in the past 6 months.
For the 2022 Performance Benchmark ReportNarvar analyzed the published return policies of 200 retailers in August 2022 to create a baseline against which other retailers and online merchants could benchmark and compare their own return policies. Selected companies range from Fortune 500 retailers to D2C e-commerce brands.
Narvar has pioneered how brands engage with consumers beyond the “buy” button through branded order tracking, delivery notifications, returns and exchanges. Today, Narvar’s comprehensive post-purchase platform enables over 1,200 of the world’s most admired brands, including Sephora, Patagonia, Levi’s, Sonos, Warby Parker, LVMH and L’Oréal, to ensure transparency, build trust and increase customer lifetime value. Recognized repeatedly by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies, Narvar simplifies the daily life of consumers. For more information, visit Narvar.com.