News

'Takeback Tuesday': Returns expected to double on first working day of the year

31 December 2017

On Tuesday 2nd January – dubbed 'Takeback Tuesday' by the media - returns of online purchases are predicted to double compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December, according to Royal Mail.

According to a study commissioned by the mails provider, three in four customers purchasing women’s clothing return an item. The study, part of Royal Mail’s annual Delivery Matters report, reveals clothing (75%), footwear (38%) and electrical goods (37%) are the most commonly returned items. When looking at the clothing category in more detail, dresses (37%) are the most commonly returned women’s item of clothing, followed by crop tops/t-shirts (22%) and trousers/jeans (20%).

Male shoppers return trousers/jeans the most (28%), followed by shirts (23%) and coats/jackets (20%).

The main reason for returning clothes is because an item did not fit (42%). Wrong size (32%), not suitable (20%) and not what was expected (20%) are also popular reasons to return clothes.

According to Delivery Matters, there’s now an expectation of ease and efficiency when it comes to returns. 81% of consumers say they prefer returns labels to be included with purchases. Almost nine in ten would consider themselves likely to shop with a retailer again if re-sealable packaging was provided. Speed and guidance is also key. 96% believe it’s important to get notified of a refund upon their item being returned. 75% both consider it important to have guidance about which returns label to use and to get refunded quickly after a return. Tracking is also important and 73% want to be able to track the status of their item. Ease of return really matters and 60% of shoppers would be less likely to shop with a retailer again following a difficult returns experience.

Most shoppers expect free returns to be offered by retailers. 47% of shoppers would be unlikely to shop with a retailer again if it charged for returns. Further to this, three in five shoppers expect to receive free returns regardless of the amount spent. Where this isn’t offered, a third of shoppers would switch to a different retailer who does offer free returns.

Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said “January is the busiest time of year for returns. Having an easy way to return online purchases is a crucial part of the online shopping experience. For retailers everywhere ensuring their returns experience is in line with consumers’ expectations is incredibly important.”