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Returns Experience Continues to Grow in Significance for Consumers

59 Percent of Respondents Note the Convenience of Ecommerce Returns has Become More Important to Them Since the Coronavirus Outbreak; Key for Retailers This Holiday Season and Beyond

Doddle, a leading international ecommerce solutions provider that designs, develops and integrates consumer fulfilment and returns technology, announces the findings of its latest survey conducted to uncover how important the ecommerce returns experience is to consumers. The research of almost 1,400 U.S. consumers was done in October 2020.

Similar to Doddle's research conducted in May 2020, the survey found that the returns experience continues to play a significant role in respondents' opinions of a retailer (87 percent vs. the earlier 84 percent). Interestingly, this was particularly true of older shoppers in this most recent survey, with 93 percent of those over age 55 feeling this way. In addition, the findings showed that more than three quarters of respondents (76 percent vs. the earlier 74 percent) felt that retailers should do more to improve their returns experience.

The research 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. 59 percent of consumers said that the convenience of ecommerce returns has become more important to them since the coronavirus outbreak struck. And for those consumers who expect to return more goods this year over the peak, 85 percent said they felt online retailers should do more to make the returns experience better.

When it came to returning items they may buy online during the November-December 2020 timeframe:

  • 63 percent of respondents wanted free returns
  • 51 percent desired convenient locations to which they could return their items (e.g., local store, post office, etc.)
  • 51 percent noted good communications and visibility during the refund process (e.g., tracking the package, confirmation of receipt, refund details, etc.). This jumped in importance for consumers since May, with 41 percent of respondents noting this then.
  • 49 percent wanted items delivered in packaging that can be re-sealed/re-used for returning something
  • 49 percent highlighted free exchanges

"As the surge in online shopping continues, particularly with the potential of more lockdowns to come, the need for meeting consumers' ecommerce returns' desires only continues to grow as well," said Dan Nevin, chief revenue officer, global retail for Doddle. "The insight from this survey provides a good starting point for retailers to consider, but with returns' clear impact on customer satisfaction, it's critical for retailers to ensure they are able to digitally capture all of the necessary details with regards to customers' returns and use those to bolster overall shopping experiences."

Doddle's survey was conducted by YouGov. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,355 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between October 15-18, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

For more information and an infographic of the survey findings, visit https://www.doddle.com/us/returns-experience-is-key-this-holiday-season/