Younger shoppers won’t return international ecommerce purchases

As post-Christmas returns skyrocketed in January and February, due to the explosion in ecommerce sales globally, Gen Z and Millennial consumers are now the most likely demographics to choose not to return unwanted items, the latest data from ESW, the global DTC ecommerce leader, reveals.

ESW’s ‘Global Voices: 2022 survey of more than 14,000 consumers across fourteen countries shows that while Gen Z and Millennial shoppers combined comprise 60% of cross-border shoppers globally, 56% admitted they had made purchases from internationally based retailers that they ultimately didn’t want but chose not to return, saying the process was inconvenient (35%), expensive (34%), and bad for the environment (20%). Additional reasons cited for not returning items included insignificant item cost (28%), an unclear returns policy (26%) and a lack of local collection points (21%).

Geographically, the markets where consumers overall were most likely to avoid returns were China (67%), India (64%) and UAE (64%), with women being 13% less likely to return unwanted items than men.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, ESW’s President and CEO, Americas, said, “Eliminating the friction Gen Z and Millennials associate with returns will be a big win for all direct-to-consumer brands, as these young adults will continue to drive the growth in ecommerce in all markets.”

“Our research has shown that more than 30% of Gen Z and 37% of Millennial shoppers have made 11+ cross border purchases in the past year alone. Taking away the ‘work’ associated with returns will help attract more Gen Z and Millennial shoppers. Free returns, scheduled pick-ups, and easy-to-access collection points will help mitigate burdensome returns requirements.”

He added, “Brands that transparently communicate their sustainable shipping options for both deliveries and returns will likely create a more loyal customer base across all generations.”

ESW’s seamless return experience allows consumers to receive a full refund within 24 hours of the return being received. Additionally, ESW offers support for several return options, including pre-paid, drop-anywhere, or pick-up returns. ESW takes away many of the pain points consumers have when it comes to international returns, with returns centres on six continents as well as 68 returns shipping centers.

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