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Retailers: Returns Matter (A Lot)

Posted on 3.31.2017

How infuriating would it be to return an incorrect order, only to receive the incorrect item again, for a second time?

According to the results of Voxware's third biennial report of more than 500 consumers, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of shoppers have had this happen to them. Common sense would tell us that those consumers will 'never, ever get back together' with that retailer - and it doesn't even have to be that bad to turn away repeat buyers. The survey found that 96.8 percent of respondents agree that how well an online retailer handles returns influences whether they will decide to order items from them again in the future. 

“Companies that want to deliver a superior customer experience and achieve greater brand loyalty must understand the importance of both inbound and outbound distribution operations in the customer decision-making process,” said Keith Phillips, President and CEO, Voxware. “Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming evidence that the returns process affects future buying decisions, this research exposes the gaps many companies still have in their distribution operations. By failing to close these gaps with technology solutions that deliver essential supply chain information exactly when and where it is needed, companies will continue to disappoint customers with late and incorrect orders.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

· 36.2 percent prefer to return items purchased online or by phone with a prepaid mailing label and 44.9 percent prefer in-store returns

· 28.4 percent expect retailers to replace item(s) shipped in error with the correct item(s) in 2 days or less

· 37.7 percent expect compensation (such as a discount, coupon, or credit) from the retailer when they receive the wrong item or when an item arrives late 

· 45.5 percent are likely or very likely to share their negative experiences about a product and/or retailer online if a delivery is late or the wrong item is received

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