- 63% have returned at least one item of women’s clothing in the past six months
- Retailers argue that the cost of free returns needs to be recovered
- Those aged 18 to 24 were twice as likely to shop online using mobile phones
Retailers are struggling with the cost of free returns as nearly two thirds of shoppers send at least one item of women’s clothing back.
Figures by consumer analyst Savvy Marketing reveal that 56% of shoppers who bought any type of clothing online in the past six months sent one or more items back.
Of the 1,000 online shoppers questioned, 63% had returned at least one item of women’s clothing.
The cost of returns for retailers is increasing as more people shop online. So-called “serial returners” are also thought to be placing a burden on fashion brands, which may result in price-hikes.
Retailers said free returns were an important part of their business but the costs had to be recovered somewhere.
The research, compiled for BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, also suggested that people aged 18 to 24 were twice as likely as their parents to do internet shopping using their smartphones.
Savvy Marketing chief executive Catherine Shuttleworth said: “The smartphone revolution has made shopping ever nearer – it is right next to our purse or our wallet.
“That immediacy and ability to buy things whenever you want is really important to that generation.”
According to retail analyst Conlumino, this reverse logistics cost UK shops a total of £95.8m in 2013. This figure is expected to have risen considerably since then following the surge in smartphone usage leading to shoppers making more impulse purchases.