How Retailers Handle Returns Influences Consumer Buying Habits: Voxware

How Retailers Handle Returns Influences Consumer Buying Habits: Voxware


Hamilton, NJ—A provider of cloud-based voice and analytic supply chain solutions, Voxware revealed additional results from its fourth biennial holiday shopping survey. The report examines why consumers return items purchased online. It also reveals how their experiences with the returns process affect their decision to make future purchases with retailers.

Much like everything else, consumers want choice and convenience when it comes to returning items purchased online. According to Voxware, 88% of the consumers surveyed want to have the option to return products to a physical store. Or through a prepaid shipping method. Voxware also found 95% of consumers say how well retailers handle returns influences their decision to order from them again.

The Returns Process: Mission Critical

There are a variety of reasons why consumers return products that they purchase online, beyond retailer error. The preferences noted in the infographic point to the demand for omnichannel returns capabilities. They also reflect the need for retailers to be able to manage inventory levels and track items across in-store and online channels. Voxware Returns Infographic“The returns process remains a critical component to ensuring customer loyalty and maintaining a positive brand reputation,” said Keith Phillips, president and CEO of Voxware. “But the reality is that 30% of our survey respondents have returned an item purchased online due to some sort of retailer error. And that is just unacceptable. Retailers need to evaluate their existing distribution operations processes as well as technology to ensure they have the capabilities to deliver the right product to the right customer at the right time.”

Retailer Error Unacceptable

Moreover, prior to the kickoff of the 2018 holiday shopping season, Voxware released survey data about shopping and shipping habits. It revealed that 31% of consumers reported they would abandon shopping with a retailer altogether if they received a single incorrect item from that retailer. Those who don’t abandon shopping with that retailer want the error fixed immediately.

The survey also found 39% expect the correct item in-hand within 1-2 days of informing a retailer of their mistake. Sadly, the returns process remains flawed. 40% of respondents reported receiving an incorrect item after returning the first incorrect item.

Of course, delivering the right product, and on time, is critical. That is even more so during the holiday season when consumer expectation is at an annual high, stated Voxware. For those brands willing to take a risk, the survey found if delivery is late or the wrong item is received, more than 78% of consumers will share their negative experiences online about that product or retailer.

Voxware Survey Methodology

Voxware asked More than five hundred consumers about their holiday shopping plans and shipping expectations. Moreover, they were asked how late or incorrect deliveries impact their future shopping decisions.