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Survey: There will be many returns, how do you make them happy?

returning box

Your returns policy can have a big impact on whether a holiday gift is even purchased.

According to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from shipping software provider ShipStation, 86% of respondents say they have returned a holiday gift. And more than half (55%) expect to return as many or more gifts from the 2019 holiday season as they have in previous years. 

Not all products are created equal when it comes to returns. Gift categories returned by the highest percentages of consumers include clothing (85%), shoes (28%), and electronics (25%). Conversely, hardly anyone returns pet supplies (1%), musical instruments (1%), or furniture (2%).

Top reasons for returning holiday gifts include fit issues (74%), not liking an item (55%), knowing you won’t use an item (41%), defective products (27%), and receiving duplicate gifts (22%).

Other interesting statistics include:

•    67% of respondents make returns within one week of the holiday, with 6% returning items the following day.
•    Consumers expect to have an average of 32 days to make a return.
•    77% of respondents prefer to make returns in-store.
•    71% of respondents prefer a cash or credit refund in exchange for a returned gift.
•    Two in three respondents consider a retailer’s return policy when purchasing a gift.
•    Nearly two in three respondents have decided not to purchase a gift due to a retailer’s return policy.
•    59% of respondents say the ability to get a full refund is the most important factor about a return policy.
•    95% of respondents say a bad returns experience would make them less likely to purchase from a retailer again in the future.
•    84% of respondents say a fast, easy returns process drives repeat purchases following a return – 67% say free returns.

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