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Almost three-quarters of online shoppers expect to return for free

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Some 73% of online shoppers expect that they will be able to return for free items they’ve bought online and don’t want to keep, a new report has found. Meanwhile, found the Royal Mail report, Delivery Matters Returns Special, 60% of the shoppers it questioned for the study said they would be unlikely to buy again from an online trader or marketplace seller if they were charged for a return. Then, 56% said that if a retailer offered free returns on orders over a certain value, they would use a different retailer that offered free returns.

The study also found that 16% of those questioned now do virtually all of their shopping online, and that convenience and certainty were important issues for them.

Nick Landon, managing director, Royal Mail Parcels , said: “The internet is one big shop front, letting people anywhere in the country get their hands on anything they want.

“Convenient returns play a big part in making ecommerce attractive and as online shoppers become more and more comfortable with online purchasing they are starting to dictate how they want the process to work, from free returns to end-to-end tracking.”

Other findings included the statistic that clothing was the most commonly returned item: 30% of those questioned returned women’s clothes, 17% sent back men’s clothes, 16% footwear and 7% children’s clothing. They were followed by electrical goods *6%), books (6%) and DVDs (5%).

The report comes as Royal Mail launches a returns portal, designed to enable online retailers to manage their returns better, while also improving the customer experience.

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