The Return Process’s Impact on Customer Loyalty
A new study from LoyaltyOne is shedding light on the e-commerce return process, revealing that bad return experiences can lead to a decrease in customer loyalty.
According to the study, one out of every two U.S. shoppers say that returning gifts adds to their post-holiday stress. Moreover, 39 percent say they have re-gifted a present just to avoid the hassle of the return process.
The study’s data indicates that it is in merchants’ best interest to offer an effortless return process, as more than half (60.6 percent) of respondents say they would stop shopping at a retailer after a poor gift return experience and 86.9 percent would share a negative return experience with friends and family. Conversely, 79.3 percent of respondents say that a positive gift returning experience with a store that they rarely visit would motivate them to shop more often at that store, while 83.9 percent say they would share information about a positive gift return experience with friends and family.
"The concept of high-risk touch points continues to gain the interest of retailers, as customers are increasingly fickle and their loyalty is divided,” says LoyaltyOne consulting managing partner Dennis Armbruster. “It's no longer just about attracting shoppers in the store, it's about cultivating their loyalty through the entire sales and return process.”
Additional insights from the study reveal that millennials (55.5 percent) and women (57.9 percent) are more likely to be stressed by the return process than the general population (50.9 percent). Interestingly, more men (45.1 percent) indicated that they have had a poor experience with returning a gift to a retailer than women (31.7 percent).