Consumers reveal holiday return habits

Consumers in the U.S. are big on returning holiday gifts, but they aren’t always happy about the experience.

The study of over 2,000 adult shoppers conducted Dec. 24-29, 2018 by click-and-collect platform Doddle finds 30% of respondents say making holiday returns is inconvenient. More than half (56%) of those polled say e-commerce retailers like Amazon offer a better delivery and returns experience than traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

Whether or not consumers are satisfied with their holiday returns experience, they are making them in large numbers. More than eight in 10 (83%) of respondents have returned a holiday gift at least once. Almost two in 10 (18%) return holiday gifts frequently.

When asked what the primary method was for making their product returns, 39% of respondents said that they do so by taking the item back to a brick-and-mortar shop. In addition, 34% said they dropped the good off at carrier -- such as FedEx or UPS -- location, while 31% said they bring the item to a local post office or drop it in a mailbox.

“In retail today -- especially during the holiday season -- every customer is important, so delivering a subpar experience anywhere in the customer journey can have extremely negative consequences,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Doddle. “Returns are a key part in maintaining customer loyalty, so more needs to be done by retailers to improve their returns processes.”