Dutch consumers return the most online orders

January 14, 2020 by
Nico Hoeijmans

returnsIn the Netherlands, the number of returned online purchases by consumers is the highest in all of Europe. A total of 13% of all orders is returned. This is higher than the percentage in countries such as Germany, Poland, Ireland and Switzerland (12%). The average return percentage in Europe is up 10%. Notable is the declining trend in fashion returns. This can all be concluded from the DPD E-Shopper Barometer, executed by research agency Kantar TNS,

In this research, almost 25.000 respondents from 22 countries were questioned about their return behaviour. Due to the increasing impact of sustainability on online shopping, one might have predicted a lowering percentage of returns. The latest numbers show otherwise as the average return rate in Europe has increased to 10% compared to last year.

Returns in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the amount of returned fashion items fell 7%.  Last year, 51% of all returns were fashion items, This year, this is 44%. Despite the decreased amount of fashion returns, it is still by far the largest category. At the same time, other categories are catching up. Electronic items are returned more often (+5%). Other categories that face increased returns are shoes (+2%), leisure (+3%), videogames (+2%), groceries (+2%), health (+1%) and toys (+2%).

Easy to return

The Dutch find the ease to return a product very important. No less than 29% of the Dutch consumer say free returns is the most important decision-maker to place an online order. Having to pay for returns is absolutely not done in the Dutch market. 75% of the Dutch respondents indicated they would quit the checkout process if they find out they have to pay for returns. The same goes for a complicated return procedure (76%). This percentage is significantly higher than elsewhere in Europe. The European average of 52% is much lower.

62% of Dutch consumers say they find it easy to return a product, which could explain the high amount of returns. The research provides an example on a free return label which is provided much more often by Dutch retailers, making it possible to return for free.

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