Online Shoppers Prefer In-Store Returns

Only 25% would rather mail back unwanted purchases

Author: Jennifer King

April 3, 2018

There's no denying that ecommerce is disrupting the retail industry. But when it comes to returning a digital purchase, most online shoppers favor visiting a physical store rather than shipping it back.

Indeed, 75% of US internet users surveyed by CGS in January 2018 said they prefer that course of action. 

Female respondents—particularly those ages 25 to 34 and 55 to 64—were "five times more likely to return items in-store than shipping it back," according to the survey. 

CGS' findings are in line with other studies that focused on the returns process. 

Take an April 2017 Narvar study, which revealed that more than half of younger online shoppers consider in-store returns the easier option compared with other return methods. Narvar found that many respondents said returning a package, which can involve printing a company-issued label and dropping off to a post office, was just too much trouble and altogether time-consuming.

Similarly, data from TrendSource showed that shoppers prefer to return items to a physical store because they're able to get better customer service.