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Easier Product Returns Offer Big Opportunities for Retailers

June 8, 2012

The ease of product returns and exchanges is ranked among the most important factors in the online retail customer experience, according to a study by comScore and UPS.

Asked directly which aspects of e-tail shopping they'd like retailers to improve, 58% of online shoppers cite free or discounted shipping, while 42% cite ease of returns and exchanges and 38% cite the variety of brands and products available.

Providing options such as multiple shipping (28%) and carbon-neutral shipping (23%) are taken into consideration, but at a far lower level.

However, the report also found that free shipping is one of the least important factors contributing to overall online shopping satisfaction. By contrast, ease of returns and exchanges is ranked among the factors scoring high in importance but low in satisfaction.

The quadrant analysis (below) illustrates the ranked importance of various customer satisfaction factors. Items in the upper-right quadrant (e.g., ease of checkout and product/brand variety) are those with both high importance and high satisfaction, whereas the factors in the bottom half of the chart are of lower importance in driving overall online shopping satisfaction:

Below, additional findings from the The Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, a report by comScore, commissioned by UPS.

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