What we can take away from Takeback Thursday

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They call it Takeback Thursday – January 2 – when people are expected to return their unwanted online purchases after Christmas. And this year, they are predicted to increase by 72 per cent compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December, according to Royal Mail.

A study revealed that online shoppers in the UK sends back, on average, an online purchase every month. Three in five would be unlikely to use a retailer again if they have a difficult returns experience.

It also gave other advice for online businesses. Speed of refund is the most important element of the returns process for 76 per cent of them, for example. Well signposted returns information on the retailer’s website was also key for 73 per cent and shoppers want clear guidance about which returns labels to use 72 per cent.

Almost six in ten (58 per cent) said they were more likely to use a retailer if they offer a ‘try before you buy’ service so it’s an important avenue to explore when adapting to customer needs. And more than a third (35 per cent) would buy more items if that option was available, particularly among those aged 18-34.

This was mainly true in terms of clothing (60 per cent) and footwear (42 per cent), followed by electrical computing goods (37 per cent).

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said “With the festive season now over, January is the busiest time of the year for returns. Having a clear, user-friendly returns policy has never been more important. It is a vital part of the online shopping experience. For retailers, ensuring their returns experience is in line with consumers’ expectations is key.

“Over a third of shoppers would purchase more items if a ‘try before you buy’ option was available from a retailer, so it’s important to consider putting such a service at the heart of your returns offering.”