Saturday , May 8 2021

People who return almost everything they buy online

More and more customers are coming back again and again what they buy, and this habit increases the costs of companies. Why do they do it and what stores should do for it?

The return of the newly purchased object is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. In fact, traders have an obligation to guarantee this right, but what about customers who change almost everything they buy as a rule?

The so-called "buyer of a wardrobe" buys and returns things compulsively. It's a customer profile that has grown in recent years and is a problem for some businesses with difficulties.

Harriet Gordon meets that profile.

A 28-year-old in London, UK, as a human resources consultant, and admits she only retains half of the things she's buying online.

Usually he spends about $ 500 each month, but returns objects in which he spent about $ 250.

Most of the time it does because the clothes do not fit as expected, or because the color or fabric have nothing to do with the photo that convinced them to buy the product online.

"You see that the models bring things that look fantastic," he explains, but says they do not look the same when tested.

The fact that many of the stores where you shop offer homes to return a return makes it easier to process.

Test and rejection

Although working in the central and commercial district of London, Harriet Gordon says it's much easier to buy online and thus avoid queues and stress at physical stores.

Similarly, what happens to Hester Greninger, a 41-year-old woman who bought seven dresses for a wedding on the Assos website, one of the most popular online fashion retailers on a global scale.

Hester Graying

Hester Graying says he returns almost everything he buys.

I knew that I would finish with only one, but I wanted to make sure that it was the right one.

It was not a concrete case. When you need new Texas, look for five couples and then select one.

Overall, he calculates that he spends $ 480 to $ 510 per month on clothing, but returns so much that in the end what he's spending is usually no more than $ 90 or $ 100.

"I spent hundreds of dollars on various items from various stores over a month, but I probably returned about 80%," he told the BBC.

Hester, founder of Mumala Club, platform online for mothers, says that her buying habit is related to her short stature.

It measures 1.5 meters and it is difficult to know if something will fit, so it often requires three sizes of the same item.

A woman with bags

Some studies show that our heart is accelerating when we buy.


Buyers like Harriet and Hester are not unusual.

A recent study by the multinational Barclaycard credit card company, which analyzed nearly half of debit and credit transactions in the United Kingdom, said that a quarter of retailers saw the number of returns over the past two years.

In the case of clothing and footwear stores, consumers return almost half of what they buy, according to the report.

Social networks help drive this trend: about 10% of buyers admit they are taking it suicide for Instagram or for Facebook posing with a new article, and then returning to the purchase.

Jeff Betty, a professor of psychology at Edge Hill University in England, says he is surprised that the number of returns is not even greater.

Your own research shows that our pulsations are accelerating when we buy. That emotion lasts until we take the matter home and show it, but then quickly disappears and we regret that we spent money or the fact that we did not carry that garment item. Therefore, we publish it.

"What happens next is the least exciting part of the whole process," he told the BBC.

Hester Graying

Hester says he is short that makes shopping online more difficult.

The increase in online shopping promotes this habit, because "there is no guilt or shame" or the need to give too much explanation, says a specialist.

In addition, large discounts, such as Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday, encourage so-called "panic shopping", which tend to be more related to later repentance by the buyer.

Problem for shops

Returns include not only shipping costs, but also packaging and cleaning. Also, they are wasting time.

If an item is not available, it may be because it returns. And to avoid that some stores need to demand more than they expect to sell.

Another problem is the fast cycle of fashion. If the item is returned, it may be on sale, which means that the store can no longer sell it at its initial price.

This causes some traders to raise prices. According to Barclaykar, in the United Kingdom, a third of them do it.

Amazon Store

Amazon has some problems with "buyers of the wardrobe."

The fact that stores try at all costs to secure sales during sales make it easier for customers to return items without paying additional service charges. Sometimes, they even offer the option "try before payment".

It is inevitable that many will use the system.

But some businesses are fighting this. The Internet giant Amazon, for example, began to block customers who are returning too many things.

"We want everyone to use the Amazon, but sometimes people abuse our service for a long time," said The Wall Street Journal spokeswoman.

Understand customers

However, Vicky Brock, director of data and innovations in eBound Returns, a software system for managing returns, says it is wrong to assume that those who are returning are often bad customers.

Brock claims that a small portion of customers generate the most revenue, but that group includes both the best and the worst customers.

"Putting a veto on buyers to return items constantly ignores the value of each customer and reveals that the merchant does not understand the good behavior of his clients," he told the BBC.

Vicky Brock

Vicky Brock says that those who return their products are often not bad customers.

There are data showing that the more orders customers make over time, the less returns to the order.

Providing better images for clothing on the Internet and more precise sizes is one way in which shops can reduce the number of returns, experts say.

Some company companies like Uniqlo and Assos already have suggestions based on previous purchases and information about the weight and the height of the client.

Another option is to direct personalized marketing. For example, if a customer tends to stay in pants, but always returns to shoes, ads will come only from the first.

Vicky Brock says stores should act urgently, while the trend is rising.

Buyers like Hester do not intend to change their behavior. "I'm not sorry for retailers, they are part of the problem, because they offer free or very cheap returns, they need to better adjust the dimensions," he explains.

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