A snapshot of the latest stats and survey results from around the retail industry, related to consumer returns.

Retail Dive’s Holiday Trendline

Retail Dive has published a Holidays Trendline, chock full of interesting data and insights (including some stats from B-Stock!). Here are the consumer-returns data highlights:

  • When it comes to shopping incentives: Forty-two percent of shoppers say low prices are the most important incentive, followed by free shipping (31 percent), rewards programs (10 percent), and easy returns (6 percent)
  • Half of the apparel sold at the holidays is returned
  • In 2018, between $90 billion and $95 billion in holiday merchandise was returned
  • 32% of U.S. shoppers said last year they’d abandon an online purchase without an offer of free returns
  • 71% of U.S. consumers said if they had a poor shopping experience related to returns, (pre-or-post purchase), they’re unlikely to ever shop with the same brand again

Turning Returns into Returning Customers

Happy Returns issued a new report showcasing return stats:

  • 68% of consumers are more likely to shop a retailer that offers automated returns
  • 73% of shoppers cited returns as their least favorite part of the shopping process

User Generated Content Can Cut Down on Returns

Yotpo, an e-commerce marketing platform (with clients such as Untuckit, GoPro and Everlast), released a new study that looks at how User Generated Content (UGC) can reduce consumer returns. Basically, consumers look for customer reviews that describe apparel fit and style. If reviews can’t be found on a retailer’s web site, they will then search social media for customer reviews. These reviews help reduce the number of returns by providing real-world feedback on how an item fits; this helps close the gap between product imagery and how it looks in person.

Consumer return stats released by Yotpo: 

  • 88% of shoppers say they have purposely bought more items to reach a free shipping threshold with plans to return most of the merchandise
  • 79% say they have sent back items due to sizing or quality
  • 49% of respondents say another reason behind returns is the gap between product imagery and how it looks in person

Consumer returns are  the name of the game when it comes to retail, especially for e-commerce and apparel merchandise. When it comes to dealing with returns, finding the right solution partner for liquidating this inventory is crucial. Many retailers are opting to leverage B2B marketplaces in order to auction bulk quantities of returned and excess merchandise to business buyers around the country. From salvage and discount store owners to online sellers to mom-and-pop shops, refurbishers, and exporters, a robust buyer base exists for just about every product regardless of condition. For the retailer, using an online auction channel sets up a dynamic where many buyers are competing for the inventory; this pushes prices up, allows for a faster sales cycle, and reduces the cost of processing returns.

In addition to using this type of marketplace platform to sell their liquidation inventory, retailers are also applying data to achieve their goals (be it recovery, velocity, brand control, etc.); the smallest adjustments can drive substantially better results. For example, lot optimization, low start prices, accurate manifests, targeted marketing and other strategies all contribute to better pricing. 

To learn more about B-Stock’s B2B marketplace solution being used by nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers, we invite you to view our marketplaces page, our How to Sell page or feel free to request a demo.

 Our success stories are a good place to start, too!

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