Amid post-holiday consumers — who largely shopped online during the holiday season — are returning unwanted items at a skyrocketing rate.
However, according to the Global Voices: Cross-Border Shopper Insights report, a new survey conducted by the global direct-to-consumer e-commerce company, ESW, younger consumers are largely choosing to keep unwanted items. In fact, 56 percent of Gen Z and Millennial consumers will hold on to products.
Notably, ESW’s data found that Gen Z and Millennials combined comprise 60 percent of cross-border shoppers. And more than 30 percent of Gen Z and 37 percent of Millennial shoppers have made more than 11 cross-border purchases in the past year alone.
When asked why they would not be making returns, Gen Z and Millennials indicated top reasons are because they believe returns to be inconvenient, expensive and bad for the environment. Other reasons cited for not returning items included unclear return policies, no local collection points and insignificant item cost.
Moreover, more than half of both Gen Z and Millennials also admitted that they had made a purchase from an internationally based retailer that left them with some confusion about how to return. The markets where overall consumers were most likely to forgo returns were China with 67 percent avoidance from all consumers, India at 64 percent and UAE at 64 percent.
“Eliminating the friction Gen Z and Millennials associate with returns will be a big win for all direct-to-consumer brands, as these young adults will continue to drive the growth in e-commerce in all markets,” said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, ESW’s president and CEO, Americas. “Taking away the ‘work’ associated with returns will help attract more Gen Z and Millennial shoppers.”
Free returns, scheduled pick-ups and easy-to-access collection points, he said, will help mitigate burdensome returns requirements. ESW aims to take the pain points away when it comes to international returns by offering consumers a more seamless return experience that offers a full refund within 24 hours of the return being received. The company’s solution offers support for several return options including pre-paid, drop-anywhere or pick-up returns.
“Brands that transparently communicate their sustainable shipping options for both deliveries and returns will likely create a more loyal customer base across all generations,” Bousquet-Chavanne said.
ESW has return centers on six continents and 68 returns shipping centers.
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