Survey: Consumers want easy, flexible returns — with options

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Thirty-six percent of consumers want the convenience of at-home pickup when making a return.
Thirty-six percent of consumers want the convenience of at-home pickup when making a return.

Online shoppers can’t be bothered with confusing or complicated returns processes — so much so that it could impact their likelihood of repeat purchase. 

That’s one of the findings of a new study by return management platform Loop in which 69%  respondents said they expect retailers to have an easy-to-follow returns policy. 

The survey found that consumers expect options when it comes to how they return: 47% prefer dropping off packages at a shipping partner and  37% want to avoid the repackaging hassle and return in-store. Thirty-six percent want the convenience of at-home pickup.

Loop surveyed 2,000 online shoppers across the U.S. and U.K. in May 2023 about their post-purchase preferences and priorities. The report revealed that consumers aren’t just looking for free returns anymore. Specifically, consumers are looking for easy, seamless returns, product quality guarantees, and a quality, personalized experience that shows that brands care about them.

Other insights from Loop’s “Let your returns power customer loyalty” report are below.

•Personalization is the new standard. A majority (75%) of consumers today expect retailers to suggest new products based on past purchases and interactions. 

Also, 82% of consumers are highly incentivized to buy again when offered by post-purchase coupons, discounts or enrollment into a loyalty program, which help to further build that personal connection between brand and shopper.

•For online shopping, quality guarantees go a long way. Product quality questions are always on the front of consumers’ minds when making online purchases. Nearly all (93%) of consumers say that they are more likely to purchase from retailers who offer quality guarantees or warranties, and 25% expect some level of quality assurance. 

With 92% of consumers regularly checking a retailers’ return policy before purchase — a percentage up nine points year-over-year —highlighting warranties in return policies can catch consumers’ attention from the get go, the study said.

“The power to create customer-centric experiences is at brands’ fingertips,” said Tasha Reasor, senior VP of marketing at Loop. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to returns these days, but understanding what your shoppers value, and crafting policies to deliver on those values, will go a long way in building crucial relationships with customers that will lead to long-term loyalty.”

 

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