Online Returns in the UK - 2017
"Online Returns in the UK - 2017", report offers comprehensive insight and analysis of the online returns channel in the UK, the main trends and the hot issues, consumer returns motivations and preferred methods. Consumer data is based on our e-retail survey using a panel of nationally representative online shoppers.
This report looks at the online returns channel in the UK from 2017 to 2022. Consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to returning items bought online, resulting in significant growth of the channel over the next five years. Retailers must give the returns process as much attention as the shopping journey in order to boost customer satisfaction and help retain customers. In this report we look at what people return, the methods used and the size of the channel split by parcel size for each sector. We also look at the profile and penetration of online shoppers who return, and what drives them to return by sector.
The report covers the following topics -
- The hot issues
- What people return
- Who returns
- Why people return
- The online returns channel is set to rise by 34.6% to 5,438.1m by 2022. Growing consumer confidence in the returns process and a 35.0% growth in online spend over the same period will drive this growth. Retailers must prepare for the rising number of returns by investing into the entire operation. Retailers that are able to provide a returns process which is as seamless as the purchasing journey will benefit from improved customer retention.
- Penetration of online shoppers that have returned an item, has risen across all sectors other than in clothing & footwear, although clothing & footwear has by far the highest penetration at 32.7% - compared to the next highest sector food & grocery gifting at 19.7%.
- Overall, 37.3% of returns were made via post while 35.1% were brought back to a retailers store. However, for five of the nine retail sectors, returns were most commonly completed via returning to store. The minimal use of channels such as lockers and drop off points like Collect+ and Doddle proves that consumer awareness of these options remains low. Retailers should further highlight the availability of the lesser used options to demonstrate the convenience of their returns proposition whilst alleviating some of the workload and resource involved in the returns process for stores.
Reasons to buy
- Utilise our five year forecasts to 2022 for the online returns channel, and sector penetration to help form an effective growth strategy.
- Review our analysis on hot issues and understand the factors driving the channel.
- Understand the returns penetration for each sector in 2017, and returns penetration of total online market.
- Understand the returns channel share of online retail and forecast growth compared to online spend, to help incorporate growing returns into financial forecasts.
- Recognise why consumers are returning products purchased online to enable a better understanding of the channel moving forward, and to help mitigate the future growth of returns.
The hot issues
What people return
Why people return
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