TMCNet:  Voxware Research Indicates That Most Online Purchases are Returned Due to Retailer Error

[January 16, 2013]

Voxware Research Indicates That Most Online Purchases are Returned Due to Retailer Error

HAMILTON, N.J. --(Business Wire)--

Voxware, a leading provider of voice solutions, today released research highlighting why consumers return items purchased online or by phone and how their experiences with the return process affect their future purchase intentions with retailers. Highlights from the survey, which collected responses from 600 consumers, include:

  • 64% of respondents stated that the reason for returning an item purchased online or by phone is because the item is the incorrect size or color
  • 84% of respondents stated that the return process is extremely or very important to their future intentions to shop with a retailer
  • 50% of respondents who receive an incorrect item after already returning it once stated that they are much less likely to shop with that retailer online or by phone again for future purchases
  • 25% of respondents who have experienced continuous return process issues with particular retailers stated that they have limited shopping with that retailer both online and in-store
  • Nearly 20% of respondents expect the correct item to be shipped to them within one to two days after returning the incorrect item

Why and How Often Respondents Return Purchased Items

Respondents answered for what reasons they have returned items purchased online or by phone:

  • 64% stated that the item received is the correct item, but it is the incorrect size or color
  • 47% stated that the item is correct, but they did not like the item once seeing it in-person
  • 45% stated that the item received was the incorrect item altogether

Survey participants were then asked which of the above reasons happens most frequently:

  • 38% noted that more often, they return an item purchased online or by phone because it is the incorrec size or color
  • 33% noted that more often, they return an item purchased online or by phone because they did not like the item once seeing it in-person
  • 27% noted that more often, they return an item purchased online or by phone because it is the incorrect item altogether


Therefore, 65% of respondents replied that more often, they return items due to retailer error, whether the size/color is incorrect or the product is wrong altogether. Survey participants also answered what percentage of items that they have purchased online or by phone have been returned due to retailer error or dissatisfaction with the item:

  • 63% answered that up to 10% of the items they purchase online or by phone are returned due to error or dissatisfaction
  • 27% answered that between 11-30% of the items they purchase online or by phone are returned due to error or dissatisfaction
  • 10% answered that more than one-third of the items they purchase online or by phone are returned due to error or dissatisfaction

Experiences with and Expectations for the Return Process

When asked how important the return process is to their future intentions to shop with a retailer, 84% of survey participants said that it is extremely or very important. The majority, 57% of respondents, stated that returning products bought online or by phone is moderately easy but annoying, while 16% stated that the return process is difficult.

Additionally, one-third of survey participants have, after returning an incorrect item, received the incorrect item for a second time. Half of these respondents stated that they are much less likely to shop with that retailer online or by phone again for future purchases.

What's more, nearly one-third stated that they experience return issues more frequently with particular retailers, with 31% noting that they have to return items bought online or by phone more frequently when shopping with large versus small retailers. Of those who answered that they have experienced continuous return process issues with particular retailers, 25% stated that they have limited shopping with that retailer both online and in-store, while 15% have stopped shopping with the retailer online altogether.

Once respondents return incorrect items to the retailer, nearly 20% expect the correct item to be shipped to them within one to two days, while 43% expect the item in three to four days.

"This research proves that the clear majority of product returns are due to retailer error," states Keith Philips (News - Alert), President and CEO, Voxware. "Mistakes are happening too frequently, both in the initial delivery and in the return process. This not only increases supply chain costs, but it also severely impacts customer satisfaction. As online shopping increases, the time to optimize supply chains for omni-channel delivery is now. Most errors occur in distribution centers at the moment orders are picked off of the shelves. Hands-free voice software can dramatically decrease these picking errors, so retailers can get it right the first time, cut returns, and boost shopper loyalty."

About Voxware (News - Alert)

Voxware helps organizations with teams who are on the move to more effectively receive, act on, and communicate information critical to their work. Our hands-free voice solutions enable employees to safely and accurately speed through tasks, thereby boosting operational productivity and improving customer experiences. What's more, Voxware easily adapts to changes in technology and processes, enabling organizations to quickly address shifting demands without disruptions to the operation. Our innovative approach to voice communication has proven to help our customers increase profitability by cutting costs and enhancing brand loyalty. For more information, please visit www.voxware.com.


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