Expectations versus reality. It’s not only one of the internet’s biggest memes, it’s a truth that every online shopper faces at some point in the buying journey.
The decision to purchase online still hinges upon the ability to return an item, or if a store’s refund policy is acceptable. According to new research by our friends over at Canada Post, less than half of the top 200 online retailers in Canada provide a returns experience that consumers expect!
Why You Need an eCommerce Returns Strategy
In Canada, 30% of shoppers online made a return in the last year, and on average returned 2.7 items in the past year. This friction isn’t just a nuisance for shoppers, it cuts into your profits.
Increase Loyalty by Easing Minds
18% of shoppers will abandon will abandon purchases if they have concerns with your return policy. To make things worse, once those shoppers have a negative experience 33% of them won’t return to your store.
How to Create the Ideal eCommerce Returns Experience:
- Clear – Shoppers want to know how to make returns upfront and if all items are returnable.
- Simple – Make your returns process steps easy to complete, without hassle.
- Convenient – give your shoppers options for getting products back to you. e.g. provide return labels in the shipping box,accept returns in-store or even better – provide both options to your shoppers.
66% of consumers say they check the returns policy when they shop with a merchant they have never bought from.
33% of shoppers indicate that they will complete their online purchase if the returns process is easy
23% of shoppers say they want it to be easy to get the return to the delivery company
We always encourage retailers to accept online returns, in-store! You can read more from Matt Bertulli, our CEO, on why in-store returns are a great sales opportunity here.
Mind the Free Shipping Gap!
One of the biggest gaps that Canada Post found in their research is the gap between shopper’s expectations of retailers to offer free returns versus what the market offering is. They found that 84% of shoppers view free returns shipping as a critical driver of the ideal returns experience, yet only 22% of Canadian online retailers offer free returns by mail.
But – in some situations, shoppers are willing to share the expense of returns. Canada Post found 30% of shoppers are willing to pay for returning items if the shipping costs are reasonable. And – we understand that as a merchant, free-shipping isn’t ideal. If not executed properly free shipping could be costly to your business, that’s why we created a quick guide to setting your free shipping minimums.
Turn Returns into Your Competitive Advantage.
Download Canada Post’s free whitepaper for more insights on eCommerce returns and learn how to turn your returns strategy into a competitive advantage, by clicking here or the button below.
*All insights pulled from Canada Post’s 2016 Canadian Online Shopper Study, CPC 16-202, April 2016