UK E-Commerce Businesses Discouraging Consumers From Returning Products

  • UK online retailers are cracking down on ‘wear and return’ trend that is costing them billions of pounds every year

UK online retailers are discouraging customers to return products, with less than 1% including return labels with the product, according to a new report.

Retailers are cracking down on ‘wear and return’ customers in the hope to reduce the more than three million packages that are returned every year in the UK, costing retailers billions of pounds in lost revenue.

Yet many risk losing customers completely as almost half (45%) are put off from purchasing products from an online store if the returns period is less than 30 days.

59% of UK consumers said returning products was a big hassle for them, with 46% never or only sometimes returning online products, according to the E-commerce Delivery Compass. 

The report commissioned by e-commerce shipping platform, Sendcloud shows that the majority of consumers (54%) will always check the return policy before they decide to buy a product online.

13% stated there was no option to return the product, while 56% of shoppers believe that the online retailer should arrange and pay for the return shipment.

UK consumers are not so patient either, with the average only willing to wait 5 days after they’ve submitted their return shipment to receive their return.

“Retailers often preconceive the returns process to be a real headache and are sometimes tempted to make their return policies more complicated in an attempt to reduce returns” said Rob van den Heuvel, CEO, Sendcloud. “However, the exact opposite is true as our research has proved that a simple and clear return policy is actually key in driving conversions

“In fact, what we’ve found is that retailers which offer a longer return period result in fewer returns because customers are less concerned with the product that still has to be returned, as consumers can wait longer to actually return their orders, they often get attached to their newly delivered items and decide to keep them. So, by offering a longer return period, retailers can actually increase sales and decrease returns.”