comScore’s Online Shopping Customer Experience Study reveals consumer friendly returns and exchanges policies are an important facet of converting browsers into buyers.
Around 75 million USA residents are purchasing online, with a quarter making 6 or more purchases of physical goods every three months.
While free shipping is an important motivator in getting people to part with their cash, so to it seems is a generous returns and exchange policy.
I don’t think I have *ever* returned a product I purchased online – partly due to to being lucky with purchases for the most part, but another aspect is I just couldn’t be bothered with the hassle.
However, comScore says nearly two-thirds (62%) of online shoppers have returned a product purchased online and a similar percentage actively seek out this information before purchasing. Just 17% of those surveyed never look at a company’s exchange/returns policy either before or after purchasing.
Nearly 50% stated they would be more likely to shop – and more often – with an online retailer that had a clear, concise and “lenient” returns policy; and would drop another retailer in order to gravitate to one that did.
Those surveyed also favored retailers that included of a return label with their purchase or at least easy access to a label they could print off themselves.
Other points mentioned in the study include:
- shoppers are willing to pay an optional fee to receive the product faster
- shoppers should be presented how much more should be purchased to get free shipping
- give consumers the option of shipping time frames.
The last point is a very good one. I had an online shopping experience recently where my purchase decision was down to two retailers offering the same goods for similar prices. As I needed to be present to sign for the package, timing was important. The merchant that offered a delivery time selector as part of the checkout process won the rather substantial sale.
comScore’s Online Shopping Customer Experience Study report can be downloaded here.