Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. Having started his career in tech journalism as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited a number of technology and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.
Almost half (47%) of consumers would not shop at an online retailer that charges online returns, according to new research from a product performance management (PPM) platform. ROI Hunter.
The research, which surveyed 2,015 UK consumers, found that price remains the most important factor influencing online shopping decisions. As a result, even a small increase could risk turning off shoppers at a time when many have already changed their shopping habits just to make ends meet.
The findings are bad news for fashion giants like Zara which introduced fees for online returns. And with e-commerce leaders like ASOS recently reporting reduced profits due to excessive returns, other retailers may soon follow suit.
Karel Schindler, CEO of ROI Hunter, said: “Sellers who charge online returns risk losing customers when they need them most. A better way to reduce the cost of returns is to reduce the number of returns that occur in the first place through better use of product data to inform promotional planning.
“Besides affecting profits, high return products tend to confuse the algorithms of giants like Google or Meta. Products are renewed with each return, but many retailers unknowingly double down on promoting products with high return rates because they have higher engagement. By using SKU-level return rate data to influence which products are promoted in dynamic campaigns, retailers can significantly reduce the amount of returns without charging consumers more.”
UK consumers don’t just hold online retailers accountable for return prices; 38% say they will boycott a brand that serves them irrelevant ads, and nearly a third (31%) would stop shopping with a retailer that served them an insensitive ad. This sentiment is also felt strongly among retail marketers, with more than half (57%) of UK retail marketers surveyed for the research fearing their brand will be canceled if they display a digital ad incorrectly, and 46% agreeing that ads are now vulnerable more creative review by consumers.
Despite the risks, six in 10 consumers say they have been served ads for irrelevant products, and 50% for out-of-stock items, indicating that many retailers are still spending their budget on ineffective advertising. With more than half of retail marketers surveyed admitting that they have had to rely more heavily on discounts to stimulate consumer demand since the onset of the cost of living crisis, retailers must find new ways to deliver more cost-effective and effective campaigns through new methods. data utilization.
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