Survey: Apparel has an online returns problem

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Survey: Apparel has an online returns problem

By Dan Berthiaume - 09/03/2019
Returns are rampant in online fashion retail, but counterstrategies exist.

According to “Fashion Ecommerce Report: Consumer Trends & Strategies for Brands” from e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo, 88% of surveyed fashion shoppers admit to having returned fashion items purchased online in the past year, with 51% returning between 50 and 500 dollars’ worth of online fashion merchandise. Sixty-six percent of respondents say they order more items than they intend on keeping due to the ease of returns.

Fit and quality (79%) are the top reasons online fashion shoppers return items, with 49% citing items looking different in person than online. However, the survey also reveals steps retailers can take to help reduce the likelihood of returns of online fashion purchases. These include a detailed product description, which almost all respondents (98%) consider “important” or “very important” when purchasing; photos, which 93% of respondents consider “important” or “very important”; customer videos (72%); and sizing and fit information (72%).

In addition to providing all these e-commerce features, Yotpo also recommends that online fashion retailers create a “fit quiz” customers can take to help direct them to the most suitable items, especially in categories such as swimwear and lingerie.

Other interesting results include:

• While 71% of respondents say they consider Amazon to be a destination for fashion, only 41% had plans to buy from Amazon during Prime Days, and of those who prefer to shop direct-to-consumer, 62% had no plans to make any purchases from Amazon during Prime Days.

• Fifty-five percent of GenZ respondents - more than any other generation - were inspired by social media to make their most recent fashion purchases. Sixty-nine percent of Gen Zers say they are loyal to specific fashion brands, while 21% didn’t know, or care, about Amazon Prime Days.

• Close to half (47%) of respondents say that their most recent fashion purchase was inspired by something they saw on social media.

• Seventy-one percent of respondents prefer to buy their fashions directly from the brand’s site and 63% say they do this out of brand affinity. Online fashion shoppers also want the opportunity to join loyalty programs (90%) and to be rewarded by the brand (93%).