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Published
Apr 21, 2022
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​Almost a fifth of e-tailers hide their returns policy claims survey

Published
Apr 21, 2022

UK e-tailers are losing money from e-commerce returns up to an estimated £5.2 billion a year on average. But they could do better if — rather than trying to discourage returns — they were more transparent.


Photo: Pexels



Lengthening returns policies and returning money to consumers faster could attract more business, according to new research from e-commerce delivery platform Sendcloud.

Data from a survey of the top 100 retailers in the UK suggests that businesses could be missing out on revenue with short, or even hidden, returns policies.

Some 67% of UK consumers said they wouldn’t order at an online store if the returns policy wasn’t easy to find, while 24% claim they wouldn’t order at a store if the returns period is less than 60 days.

The survey showed that, on average, UK consumers want to wait a maximum of six days to get their refund, yet 45% of UK retailers take up to 14 days to arrange refunds. And while this is in line with UK law, it doesn't result in happy customers, the report noted.

Some 58% of UK consumers claim returns are a big hassle to them, yet just 53% of online stores offer their customers online returns. Adding to this, only 9% of stores are claimed to offer consumers the possibility to get their returns picked up at home, whereas 31% of UK consumers would prefer this option.

Rob van den Heuvel, CEO of Sendcloud, said: “Retailers often pre-conceive the returns process to be a real headache and are sometimes tempted to make their return policies more complicated in an attempt to reduce returns.

“However, the exact opposite is true as our research has proved that a simple and clear return policy is actually key in driving conversions. In fact, what we’ve found is that retailers which offer a longer return period result in fewer returns because customers are less concerned with the product that still has to be returned! All in all, a simple and clear return policy actually pays off.”

Sendcloud suggests four key tips for the ideal return policy to win over consumers: free returns; an easy returns process; an extended returns period; and a quick refund.

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