Free returns are now an everyday expectation of shoppers in the UK as we see more and more retailers offering this incentive to drive sales. Studies have shown that 73% of shoppers will take their shopping elsewhere if the retailer fails to adhere to this desire but is this a reflection of consumers being fickle, or is it a fair presumption?
The idea of offering free returns worldwide however is a whole different kettle of fish and retailers will often focus on offering free delivery to their overseas customers instead. But offering low-cost or free returns can make a huge difference to checkout conversion - Two retail giants reported a whopping 357% sales increase when they began offering free returns.
Yet we're a long way off from seeing free returns globally. Research conducted by ReBOUND discovered that only 3 of the top 132 UK fashion brands offered free returns worldwide (a mere 2%). These leading brands with such a generous global return offering are Net a Porter, Mr Porter and Joseph, so does a free return policy only make sense for higher value goods like these luxury brands?
18% of the retailers we studied did offer a small selection of international customers free returns in a handful of international markets. Taking a closer look into this, it appears that there is a trend for fashion brands upping the ante on their returns policy for the USA market in particular by offering them free returns with 8% of brands offering this incentive and we expect these figures to rise in the next returns benchmark we set in the New Year.