Close this search box.

Consumers not willing to pay for returns is a myth, GFS finds


New research by carrier management company GFS has found that one in two shoppers are willing to pay for “hassle-free” returns, busting the myth that charging for returns would lead to cart abandonment.

GFS and Retail Economics Battling Basket Abandonment report also found 72% of customers see a hassle-free returns process is important in a repeat purchase decision.

Furthermore, an easy returns process could in fact be a driving factor for purchasing in the first place, as highlighted by the DeliveryX Returns 2023 report.

The consumer survey featured in the report found that nearly half of shoppers see easy returns as very important, while further research highlighted that 61% would be more likely to exchange a product bought online, than ask for a refund, if the exchanging process was made simpler.

Short returns periods also put customers off spending in the first place with one in four (24%) UK consumers responding to a Sendcloud survey that they wouldn’t buy online if a return period is
less than 60 days.

During the returns process proactive communication is considered a key factor, in a similar way to in-flight delivery updates, notifications along the return journey will help.

Additionally, shoppers responded that they would not buy from an online store if the return policy wasn’t easy to find, according to more than half (67%) of UK consumers.

The convenience of return locations also plays its part. A recent survey by digital receipt start-up Slip found that travelling to the Post Office or a store to process the return was the most quoted dislike at 66% of responses.

Additionally, consumers are increasingly conscious about the impact of their returns on the environment. A ReBound study discovered that 69% of consumers are happy to pay for returns if the money is used to subsidise more environmentally friendly return options.

Download the full Returns 2023 report to discover:

  • How some retailers are deploying loyalty schemes to deal with the returns problem
  • Could repair and recommerce be the key to reducing the financial and environmental price of returns
  • Exclusive case studies: Zara, Schuh and Amazon

We deliver!
Our editor picks some choice pieces from the analysis flow and sends them to your inbox every Wednesday. Dedicated research report previews will also come direct to you. Subscribe for the emails.

Why not join us on Linkedin and you’ll get the best updates on our research and analysis – UK, Europe and Global – in your feed.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on