B2C Europe – a good returns policy wins the basket?

Returns are a key consideration in more than half of Europeans’ e-commerce purchasing decisions according to research from delivery company B2C Europe.

According to the research, more than half of Europeans think of returns before making a purchase online. If the cost of returns are high, 27% will not make a purchase from abroad. At the top end of the spectrum, 40% of Swiss shoppers would hold back from a purchase, while only 17% of Spanish shoppers would.

Meanwhile if the returns policy is not clear, 23% of Europeans will not make the purchase in the first place. At the top end of the spectrum, Spanish shoppers wanted a clear returns policy while the 20% in the UK and Belgium were at the bottom of the spectrum.

The cross border delivery specialists B2C Europe surveyed more than 2400 people in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

The B2C Europe research that can be found here as a guide to help online retailers reduce the rate of returns. The research also found that people are still queasy about buying online from foreign stores.

36% of shoppers said that they were more likely to purchase from abroad if there was a clear returns policy. The guide says, “A clear and simple returns process reassures consumers who may be reluctant about making cross border purchases”.

Sixty percent of customers expected a free returns service as standard, while 47% said that returns to a collection point should be a standard service. Almost half said that they preferred a refund to a store credit.

According to B2C Europe, clear information about returns is especially important for consumers in Spain, Germany and Italy. And many consumers in Switzerland and Germany consider the possibility of more expensive returns as a barrier to shopping cross-border.