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The Importance Of Returns And Exchanges

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday June 16, 2012 )

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.



 

 
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