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Digital Retail News

What Can Retailers Do To Manage The Rise In Returns?

Return policy 725 x 500

Research from Barclaycard shows that UK shoppers are returning £7 billion* of purchases every year, leading to a ‘phantom economy’ of lost revenue for retailers, with sales coming in that they ultimately can’t recognise. Further stats include:

  • A quarter of retailers (26 per cent) have seen a rise in returns in-store and online over the last two years
  • Fashion, footwear and accessory retailers are particularly affected by the level of returns with almost four in ten (37 per cent) reporting that refunds have increased over the past two years
  • Brits splash out an average £313 on online clothes shopping each year and send £146-worth back (47 per cent)
  • The level of returns is also being fuelled by the emerging social trend to ‘Snap and Send Back’ – almost one in ten shoppers (nine per cent) admit to buying clothes to post photos on social media and then returning them
  • 35-44-year-olds are the biggest social culprits, with nearly one in five (17 per cent) revealing they have bought clothes to wear once for the hashtag moment before returning them 

Commenting on the news Konrad Kelling, Managing Director, Barclaycard Payment Solutions said:

“The volume of returns that retailers now receive is undoubtedly posing challenges for the industry and this is particularly apparent in fast-fashion. Our research found that almost one in ten (nine per cent) admit to buying clothes to post on social media only then to return the items. Therefore, it’s no surprise that some retailers are looking to review their returns process. In order to minimise the number of items sent back, retailers should also look at ways that they can help their customers to make better purchasing decisions. Providing a more detailed product description online, or implementing technology such as virtual fitting rooms that show how an item will appear when it’s worn, are just some of the steps retailers could take to keep items in customers’ wardrobes rather than in the post.”

Source : Barclaycard

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28 January 2019

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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