Preparing for the Returns Period
Christmas shopping is one of the biggest holidays with shoppers spending over £2 billion.²
Whilst spending is high during the Christmas period, the amount of refunds and exchanges significantly rise as people return their unwanted items. 10.8% of gift recipients make at least one return, with half of those returning more than one gift.⁵
It’s never been easier to return items. To help give a frictionless process when returning items, retailers are accepting items back with no questions asked, even if the item is opened. As long as they have the item and a receipt, the customer will usually get a refund or store credit.
The customer returns process is significant. Some retailers may look to reduce returns rates by placing obstacles in front of customers, perhaps charging for return postage, or making it harder to return items. However, the risk is that you can alienate customers.⁴ If they have a bad experience when returning an item, they may likely never buy from that retailer again. In fact, according to a UPS survey, 73 percent of shoppers said the overall returns experience will impact the likelihood of whether they purchase again from a retailer.¹ Another survey from Rebound found that negative returns experiences can deter customers from shopping with a brand again. ⁴
Returns policies are typically between 14 to 21 days, however many retailers extend this period to allow for the Christmas returns period ³. Many returns periods this year have been extended til the end of January 2021 to allow for the likelihood of many more returns being done through the post rather than in store.