Understanding the ‘Why’ of Online Returns

September 29, 2021

Understanding the ‘Why’ of Online Returns

1WorldSync survey provides industry insights on product returns to help retailers & brands strengthen consumer satisfaction

Spurred by “shelter-in-place” mandates and other restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, online returns more than doubled in 2020 from 2019, according to research from the National Retail Federation.

While an increase in returns may be perceived as inevitable in a fast-growing ecommerce landscape, the lack of key data and product information consumers expect to ease their shopping experiences and purchasing decisions are a key factor to consider.

6 in 10 online shoppers blame inaccurate, misleading or poor quality product content for at least some of their returns in the past 18 months.

Consumer Perspectives on Online Returns, 1WorldSync 2021 survey brief

Rising online returns are a detriment to all parties—an inconvenience for consumers and a costly hit to retailer profit margins. That’s why understanding the ‘why’ of returns is a perennial, essential activity for product marketers and ecommerce professionals.

Like any customer experience, however, the way retailers handle returns can make or break customer retention, potentially resulting in a “brand moment” that strengthens consumer satisfaction.

In a survey commissioned in August 2021, 1WorldSync asked a representative sample of 1,500 online shoppers in the U.S. to share their side of the returns story, focusing on new trends that may be changing perceptions of returns and ecommerce in general.

Download the 1WorldSync Survey Brief, “Consumer Perspectives on Online Returns.”


1. National Retail Federation, “$428 Billion in Merchandise Returned in 2020,” Jan. 11, 2020