Customers increasingly demand the existence of free online returns. This is what emerges from the latest figures from Outvio, a company specialized in optimizing post-checkout processes in ecommerce.
According to the data, 53% of customers who processed a free return during the first three months of this year ended up making another purchase in the same online store.
Also, 66.6% of buyers It already assumes that this service will be free, while for 45% it is reason enough to abandon the checkout without completing the purchase.
This information collides head-on with the decision of one of the main retail companies in the country, Zara, which recently announced its intention to start charging for returns online. Free returns are already a basic and essential pillar of the shopping experience, As Juanjo Borrás, CEO of Outvio, comments: “Making the customer pay for a return is charging for a service that is assumed to be included. Most likely, it will cause rejection from customers. Returns cannot and should not be avoided, as they are a sign of flexibility towards the customer and an extra service that allows the undecided to take action without having to take a great risk. They improve countless ecommerce KPIs, from customer satisfaction to billing.”
Only 61% charge for online returns
In fact, although Zara wants to make a paradigm shift, only 61.1% of Spanish online stores charge for online returns. This figure also grows every year, partly thanks to advances in fulfillment automation and management of orders implemented by online businesses.
“Many online stores do not have the same margin as Zara when it comes to losing customers, something that will undoubtedly happen if they start charging for returns. The most profitable thing is to optimize the management of these returns so that they do not imply an inappropriate cost for the store. Another option is to personalize the return process with marketing elements and achieve indirect sales”Juanjo assures. “If the big brands start charging for returns, those ecommerce that offer them for free will be in a clear position of advantage. It may be the opportunity that many stores were waiting for to build customer loyalty and increase their turnover.”