- Huw Hughes
Returns of online purchases in the UK are expected to surge on Takeback
Monday, the day that most Brits will return their unwanted and ill-fitting
According to a study commissioned by Royal Mail, returns will increase
by 63 percent on the first working day of the year, compared to the average
number of return parcels per day in December.
Breaking the returns down by category, over six in ten (61 percent) of
online shoppers returned clothing and 35 percent returned footwear.
Being able to try on clothes before paying is important to many UK
shoppers, with almost a third (30 percent) of shoppers that return items
using a ‘try before you buy’ service. Those aged 18-34 (47 percent) are
significantly more likely to have tried before they’ve bought, compared to
just 16 percent of those aged 55 and over.
And the returns process is increasingly important for online shoppers,
with three in five saying they would be unlikely to use a retailer again if
they had a difficult returns experience.
The most commonly cited reason for sending items back was that clothing
didn’t fit properly (39 percent), while 18 percent of younger shoppers
(18-34-year olds) are more likely to return items because the item was not
So what do shoppers look for in return policies? Being able to send back
unwanted goods for free is top of the list (85 percent), followed by having
proof of return (84 percent), ease of returns (80 percent), and friendly
staff (70 percent).
Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said in a
statement: “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.”
Photo credit: Jeshoots.com, Pexel