Survey Says: Shoppers Reward Return-friendly Retailers

It will surprise no one that customers prefer to shop at merchants that make it easy to return goods. But a recent survey from returns management systems provider Newgistics backs this up.

The fifth annual consumer returns survey commissioned by Newgistics and conducted in late November by Harris Interactive finds that nine out of 10 direct shoppers cited a convenient returns policy as very important, important, or somewhat important to encouraging them to shop with a new or unknown online or catalog retailer. This figure has held true since 2005.

Two out of three direct shoppers (68%) said the ability to make a return from home was very important or important when deciding whether to shop with an online or catalog retailer. About the same percentage (69%) said they are not likely to shop again with a direct retailer if the return process is inconvenient.

The survey revealed that 64% of adults in 2007 say they have shopped online — an increase of 10% since 2006, when 58% of adults shopped online, and 25% since 2004, when only 51% percent shopped online.

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