Survey: Well-managed online returns lead to happy customers

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Survey: Well-managed online returns lead to happy customers

By Dan Berthiaume - 11/23/2020
customer returning package

E-commerce retailers should not overlook the importance of their returns experience to customer perception and satisfaction.

According to a new consumer survey from e-commerce solutions provider Doddle, 87% of respondents say the returns experience plays a significant role in their opinion of an e-commerce retailer. This figure includes 93% of respondents over the age of 55. In addition, the findings show that more than three-quarters of respondents (76%) feel that retailers should do more to improve their returns experience. 

Looking at the type of returns experience consumers desire for their November-December online holiday purchases, the survey indicates 63% of respondents want free returns, while 51% want convenient locations to which they could return their items (e.g., local store, post office, etc.). Another 51% want good communications and visibility during the refund process (e.g., tracking the package, confirmation of receipt, refund details, etc.). This figure has jumped in importance for consumers since May 2020, when 41% of respondents cited good communications and visibility.

In addition, 49% of respondents want items delivered in packaging that can be re-sealed/re-used for returning something, and 49% want free exchanges. The survey also demonstrated COVID-19’s continued impact when it comes to the desire for shopping-related ease, clear communications and reduced costs, including for the quickly approaching holiday season. 

About six in 10 (59%) respondents said that the convenience of e-commerce returns has become more important to them since the coronavirus outbreak struck. And among respondents who expect to return more goods this year over the COVID-19 peak, 85% said they felt online retailers should do more to make the returns experience better. 

“As the surge in online shopping continues, particularly with the potential of more lockdowns to come, the need for meeting consumers’ e-commerce returns desires only continues to grow as well,” said Dan Nevin, chief revenue officer, global retail for Doddle. 

YouGov conducted a survey of 1,355 adult consumers for Doddle in October 2020.