Consumers Prefer to Return Merchandise at Stores, not Online
While mobile shopping continues to grow in popularity, customers overwhelmingly prefer to return or exchange items in stores. A recent study revealed that 70% of consumers would rather return an item in store, compared to just 9% who prefer to do so online.
Even though online shopping is a more convenient option than store shopping, consumers reported the exact opposite feelings when it came to returns and exchanges. 62% of survey participants said store-based returns were convenient, while only 21% said the process was inconvenient. Comparably, 45% of people said online returns were convenient, while 38% said they were inconvenient.
Stores have worked to make the process of online returns as simple as possible, from door-to-door pickup to pre-printed return slips. Nevertheless, the hassle of boxing up the items, waiting for them to be checked in, and then waiting for the money to come back to the account is too much hassle for many people at this time.
85% of survey participants said companies should allow in-store returns for items purchased online. For the most part, major retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy already provide this service to their customers. It is usually smaller stores that require shoppers to return items through the method of ordering.
Until online returns can be streamlined to be as fast or efficient as in-store exchanges, consumers will likely be driving to their nearest retailer to get their money back.