A survey that was conducted by Narvar, an e-commerce management platform, found that 95% of respondents listed a positive return experience as a key driver of their loyalty. While there are many factors that go into which online retailers a consumer will shop with, it seems that return policies are much more important than many had assumed in the past.
The survey went to 700 US consumers, all of whom had returned at least one item to an online site within the past 12 months. Of them, 49% said that they always check the return policy before making a purchase online. The following were the top elements of a policy that the survey respondents said would prevent them from moving forward with a purchase:
- Restocking Fees – 83%
- Return Shipping Fees – 74%
- Overly Restrictive Time Limit on Returns – 51%
- Requiring an Authorization for a Return – 25%
- No In Store Option to Return an Item – 22%
The Narvar CEO, Amit Sharma, said, “Most shoppers are frequently returning online purchases, while remaining loyal to brands if they have a positive experience. Retailers who want to remain competitive will find ways to reduce friction in the return process.”
Having a return policy that is easy to understand, doesn’t cost the consumer anything, and allows them to get the money they paid back quickly will help ensure they will come back again in the future. While the returns can cost a company money, in the long run it is almost always worth it to provide this improved level of service.
You can see the full report from Narvar HERE.