Inside Logistics

Good returns bring returns

Canada Post's latest research shows a good returns experience can create return customers

April 5, 2017

OTTAWA, Ontario—The ease of making a return—regardless of whether a return is actually made – is a rising critical factor in a customer’s online decision-making process.

Canada Post has just released the E-commerce Returns Report, which breaks down new research on consumers’ changing behaviour and expectations of the returns experience. It offers fresh insights into not just how significant the returns experience has become, but also how businesses can turn this reality into an opportunity to grow.

The research is the latest in a series aimed at helping Canadian retailers succeed in a constantly evolving omni-channel environment.

Among the findings, the research shows that the ease of making a return growing as a critical factor in a customer’s online decision-making process.

  • One in three shoppers surveyed returned an online purchase last year. One in five were put off by a negative experience;
  • Two out of three shoppers now check the returns policy when looking to purchase from a merchant for the first time; and
  • One in three shoppers is unlikely to purchase from a merchant again after a negative returns experience.

The report also provides three pillars for retailers that create an ideal returns experience for today’s consumers: clarity, simplicity and convenient. It also offers actionable takeaways for retailers that struggle with the cost of returns.

“We’re dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes understand how changes in consumer behaviour affect them and how they can use that understanding to compete and grow,” says Danielle Doiron, Director of Parcels Market Development.

“It’s easy to see returns solely as lost sales. But our findings enable retailers to view returns in a different and valuable light – that a good returns process can lead to return customers.”