Retailers risk losing customers with poor returns, Klarna warns

84 per cent of online shoppers would turn their back on a retailer after a bad returns experience, according to new research from Klarna.

A further 83 per cent of consumers that shop online and return items get frustrated by companies that have an inefficient returns process, while 82 per cent agree that retailers need to improve their returns capabilities.

Over a third of respondents cited slow refund processes as the most frustrating element of returning items bought online.

Other frustrations include having to print off return forms when they don't have a printer (25 per cent), the inconvenience of queuing to return at the post office (23 per cent) and not being able to return items in store that they’ve bought online (21 per cent.)

Over the past 12 months, a fifth of online shoppers said they have reluctantly kept an item they were unhappy with because it was too much effort to return it.

12 per cent have avoided returning items at the post office because it's difficult to social distance, while 11 per cent have gifted and 9 per cent have resold items they don’t want instead of returning to the retailer.

“Nobody wants to be out of pocket as a result of items they don’t even choose to keep, so it’s no surprise that slow refund processes are the top frustration factor when it comes to returns,” said Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK. “As reliance on returns grows, retailers need to ensure they’re offering a smooth, seamless process that meets the needs of today’s customers.

Marsh added: “As our research suggests, those that fail to adapt will lose customers in the long term.”

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