Expensive returns perceived as barrier to cross-border shopping

September 7, 2016 by
Janine Nothlichs

Consumers are hesitant to buy online across borders if the return costs are too high. This is evident from a survey amongst over 2400 consumers across the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. The study additionally highlights the fact that many European online buyers consider free returns as a standard service.


B2C Europe’s “Making money out of returns”  miniguide shows that around half of consumers take the possibility of returning a good into account already when making a purchase online:


As many as 23% of surveyed consumers stated to consider uncertainty about the returns policy as a barrier to cross-border shopping. At least 20 % of consumers value clear information about returns as a decisive factor when choosing an online shop.

According to the report, reasons for consumers to return products purchased online vary from not matching expectations to a poor fit and wrong or damaged items found in the parcel.

Images: B2C Europe: "Making Money out of Returns" Report

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