Royal Mail survey – fashionistas are fickle shoppers

One in eight online shoppers have returned goods because they look different to the pictures they saw online according to new research by Royal Mail. It also found that 20% have returned their goods over a six month period because the quality was not as expected.

Fashion is one of the most fickle areas of e-commerce, with retailers getting large volumes of goods back due to a number of reasons. Royal Mail found that 36% of consumers have claimed to return an item because it didn’t fit.

Commenting on the findings, Patrick Fagan, Consumer Psychologist and Lecturer, London College of Fashion said, “It may well be that many online shoppers see the items they order completely differently once they arrive and suddenly realise that they have made a mistake. In addition, more and more consumers are looking to try on clothes in the comfort of their own home, where they are in control of the lighting and can team them up with their own accessories to get a better idea of how suitable the item is.”

Royal Mail has said that its year old Returns Portal can help retailers better manage consumer returns by giving them full visibility of items as they make their way back to warehouses and stores. The portal captures information on the specific items being returned, the customer making the return and the reason for the return.

It also aims to improve the online shoppers’ returns experience, as customers have the ability to easily print off a returns label, post their item at one of over 11,500 Post Office branches and monitor the progress of the item being returned.

Nick Landon, Managing Director, Royal Mail Parcels said: “The ease of returning an item is a key part of a customer’s overall online shopping experience. We know from talking to online shoppers that a large number of people read the returns policy before deciding where to buy. We have pulled out all the stops to be able to offer a solution through our Returns Portal and our Tracked Returns products that meets both the retailer’s and consumers’ needs.”

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