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Most online shoppers spurn retailers who fail to deliver on returns

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More than half of online shoppers would abandon a retailer after a bad experience with delivery or returns, new research suggests.

The study, carried out for delivery and returns service Collect+, found 58% of online shoppers will steer clear of a trader whose delivery or returns service falls short.

And it also suggests that 30% hold the retailer directly responsible for poor delivery or returns.

The research puts a figure of £1.3bn on the total value of UK returned goods. But, it says, 12% of online shoppers have been unable to return goods in time to claim a refund.

Some 28% objected to the “hassle” of returning goods to the post office, while 18% objected to the cost of postage. Most (59%) thought returns should be free.

The study also found that 20% of unwanted goods get dumped at a local charity shop or thrown in the bin.

Mark Lewis, Collect+ chief executive, said: “The hassle and cost of online returns has been the dark secret of retail for too long, with our research showing that shoppers are abandoning outlets that fail to get it right.

“Modern shoppers are demanding returns processes that match their lifestyles and will no longer tolerate queuing at their local post office to return defective or unwanted goods.”

Keith Basnett, chief operating officer at Shop Direct Group, a Collect+ customer, agrees. He said: “This [delivery and collection] is an area in which our customers appreciate clarity and choice and it is crucial to offer convenient alternatives for those that cannot afford to wait at home for deliveries during working hours.”

Collect+ is a joint venture between Home Delivery Network and PayPoint. Shoppers can collect from or return their goods via a 3,500-strong network of PayPoint stores.

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