Bad returns drive away almost 60pc of shoppers

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A bad experience with deliveries or returns will make 58 per cent of shoppers abandon that online retailer permanently, according to new research from Collect+.

Some £1.3bn worth of goods is returned each year but the survey of 2,000 online shoppers reveals that 12 per cent of online shoppers have been left out of pocket as result of poor returns policies which left them unable to return unwanted goods in time for a refund.

The hassle of returning goods to the local post office tops the list of complaints, with 28 per cent of shoppers citing this as a frustration, closely followed by the cost of postage (18 per cent) with 59 per cent of those questioned feeling such returns should be free.

Lack of choice and convenience in returns is leading to 20 per cent of unwanted goods dumped at the local charity shop or thrown into the bin. Furniture and electrical goods were the least likely to be returned.

Some 30 per cent of shoppers hold the retailer directly responsible for a poor delivery or returns experience. The research also shows that many shoppers may abandon the purchase before checkout, with half of online shoppers (47 per cent) always checking the returns policy before purchase.

Collect+ is a delivery and returns service  that was founded in February 2009 as a joint venture between Home Delivery Network and PayPoint. It makes use of a network of 3,500 PayPoint Stores to offer online shoppers a convenient place to pick up or drop off purchases.

Mark Lewis, chief executive of Collect+ said: “The hassle and cost of online returns has been the dark secret of retail for too long, with our research showing that shoppers are abandoning outlets that fail to get it right. Modern shoppers are demanding returns processes that match their lifestyles and will no longer tolerate queuing at their local post office to return defective or unwanted goods.”


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