Retailers’ Online Shoppers Demand Easy Returns

When consumers choose which retailers to shop with online, the returns process is top of mind.

By the Numbers

The PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces” drew from a survey of more than 3,500 U.S. consumers to examine and analyze their actions, choices and behaviors when they go online to shop.

Strategic shopping features likely to attract consumers

The results revealed that consumers shopping directly from retailers are disproportionately likely to factor in how easy and convenient a given merchant’s return and refund procedures are when shopping from a retailer’s website or app, relative to other shopping features.

The Data in Context

David Sobie, vice president of Happy Returns at PayPal, told PYMNTS in March 2022 that most consumers want the speed and convenience of better returns systems.

“We live in an instant gratification world,” Sobie told Webster. “For merchants using our software and offering the drop-off network as an alternative to mail, we see north of 70% of the time shoppers opt into Happy Returns.”

Both online and in person, the returns process is evolving. In an August interview with PYMNTS, Loop CEO Jonathan Poma delved into the status of product returns and explored the factors retailers must consider to recover their expenses.

“As long as you are delivering a high-quality, seamless and easy experience in the returns process and you can save that customer relationship — that’s critical,” Poma said.

Customers now anticipate a frictionless and cost-free returns process, and if that also means ditching the receipt for proof of purchase, retailers are willing to forgo it. By allowing returns without receipts, retailers demonstrate a commitment to convenience. In turn, this enhances customer satisfaction and fosters a positive perception of the retailer.

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