90 percent of the top retailers in Germany offer free returns

The logistics start-up parcelLab has analyzed the return experience at 100 of the largest German online shops. The study shows that although the majority of retailers bear the return shipping costs, customers are not yet offered much more extra service.

According to analyzes by economists at the University of Bamberg in Germany, every sixth parcel is returned. Not only does this generate costs for dealers, it is also a real problem for the environment. Buyers naturally appreciate the offer of free returns – and dealers are even very accommodating, like one of them current study of the logistics start-up parcelLab shows: Overall, 90 percent of the top 100 retailers offer free returns.

Many fashion retailers offer free returns

The analysis of the 100 largest German online shops also revealed that fashion retailers in particular are very accommodating to their customers on this topic. All 36 of the fashion retailers analyzed in the study offer this service. On the other hand, senders in the beauty, cosmetics and food sectors are less accommodating. Almost every fourth retailer here lets customers bear the costs for the return.

Furthermore, half of the German retailers grant return deadlines that go beyond the legal requirements and with three quarters of the providers, customers can make use of an exchange right of over three weeks.

The Swedish furniture retailer Ikea stands out here: Customers have a year to return goods they have bought. The Obi hardware store allows returns for 90 days and Home24 for 30 days. In contrast, the return period at the US furniture mail order company Wayfair is relatively short at 14 days.

Downloadable return label is becoming increasingly popular

There is a clear trend in the handling of returns: Fewer and fewer retailers are adding return stickers to their parcels. Instead, they offer customers the option of downloading them online via a portal. 49 of the largest retailers in Germany offer this option – only 36 still have the ticket in the package. In the clothing, shoes and accessories sector in particular, the enclosed return label is increasingly being used.

The analysis also shows that the reason for the return is only asked in every second return portal. And many solutions do not yet cover the option of exchanging one product for another. Compared to Click & Collect, Click & Return is still less widespread. Only 18 of the 53 omnichannel retailers in the test offer return in the store as an additional option.

Source: com! professional by www.com-magazin.de.

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