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Returns remain largest pain point for e-tailers

Infor, delivery, logistics, boxesReturning goods remains the biggest pain point for online shoppers, according to the latest survey conducted by CouriersPlease (CP).

The logistics firm’s new research also found that 56 per cent of Aussie shoppers said they spend more with a single online store compared with a single bricks and mortar store. A further 23 per cent spend the same amount across both channels.

The online returns service, however, is lagging, with 30 per cent of online shoppers admitting returns are the biggest headache in their online shopping experience.

The results come from an independent survey of 1000 Australian adults who have shopped online at least three times in the last six months.

“With online shopping now the norm, our survey results show retailers are tapping into consumer preferences and improving the online customer experience,” said Hoy Yen Hooper, COO of CP. “However, consumer expectations around delivery and returns are changing, and retailers need to keep up with these preferences to be able to offer a high-quality, full-circle service that also includes a reliable and seamless process for shoppers to return unwanted and unsuitable goods.”

The survey found millennials are spending the most money online versus in-store, when compared with older generations, and this decreases with age. Seventy-one per cent of respondents in their 20s and 30s spend more in a single online store, compared with a single retail store. This figure decreases to 53 per cent of those in their 40s, and 39 per cent of over-50s spending more in a single online store. Only 21 per cent of all respondents spend more in-store than at a single online store.

When asked why they spend more money online, the main reason given was the availability of a greater choice (19 per cent of respondents); this reason being highest for people in their 30s, at 26 per cent.

The preference for more time to browse from the comfort of their home was the main reason stated by 15 per cent – highest for people in their 20s, at 19 per cent – and more frequent or better sales online was the reason for 11 per cent. Only 4 per cent admitted it was because they were addicted to online shopping, and 7 per cent felt the pressure to spend more to meet the ‘minimum spend’ for free shipping.

Although Aussies are purchasing more online, 64 per cent of the respondents have returned online purchases; this figure being higher for those in their 20s, at 74 per cent, compared with 57 per cent of over-50s. Yet, the returns process is the number one online shopping headache for 30 per cent of all respondents. In addition, 29 per cent of respondents believe retailers should make the returns process easier, with 29 per cent believing returns packaging should be provided, and 27 per cent believing retailers should cover some of the cost of returns.

When asked how much respondents spend on returns, 60 per cent of online shoppers who have returned their purchases said they spend more than $10, on average, per return; and 24 per cent spend more than $15, on average, per return.

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