Whistl launches report on latest UK ecommerce returns trends

Logistics specialist Whistl is warning online retailers that failure to ensure the effective management of returns will have a “significant” impact on their profitability, as ecommerce returns continue to grow.

The warning comes in a new report, commissioned by Whistl, which found that false damage and refund claims top the list of return reasons, while nearly a third of online consumers falsely claim they’d never received their item.

The eCommerce Returns Research report also revealed that customers expect online returns to be at no or low-cost and as seamless as possible, requiring ecommerce businesses to work harder than ever to streamline their returns management processes and minimise the cost of returns.

The report, based upon third-party research conducted this year, notes that the worldwide reverse logistics market is expected to grow by $250bn (£198.97bn) over the next five years to $954.5bn (£759.65bn).

Focusing on the UK, the report found that 71% of UK online shoppers return items, with online parcel returns typically cost £3 more, compared to in-store returns.

Clothing (27%), shoes (15%) and bags and accessories (14%) are the most returned items by UK consumers.

More than a third (38%) of online shoppers said they now feel more confident in returning online purchases, while 65% of UK online shoppers said they expect returns to be free under any circumstance.

Meanwhile, 57% of consumers are willing to pay more for products if they’re produced and transported in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

The report includes advice on best practice for managing ecommerce returns, including effective ways to reduce returns, understanding reasons for returns and a review of supply chain inefficiencies.

It also looks at ways to manage returns, including return to store, outsourcing to a 3PL provider, or outsourcing returns management through a consolidator platform.

Melanie Darvall, Whistl director of marketing and communications, said: ”If online retailers don’t manage their returns effectively, it will have a significant impact on their sales and profitability.

”They also risk losing competitive advantage to retailers offering an easier, faster and more efficient returns journey.

”By adopting new systems and ways of working it is possible to reduce the number of returns while boosting revenue and customer satisfaction.”

Original Article – Whistl launches report on latest UK ecommerce return trends (supplychaindigital.com)

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