Most shoppers still prefer in-store returns

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Most shoppers still prefer in-store returns

By Gina Acosta - 03/28/2018
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents noted that they prefer their purchases be shipped to them; yet, 74% said that they will return an item in-store before shipping it back.

Nearly 74% of shoppers say they prefer returning items in-store as opposed to shipping purchases back to retailers, according to a new survey.

CGS released findings from its 2018 Retail Survey of more than 1,500 U.S. individuals, ages 18-64. The results showed that despite the spike in online shopping, where almost one-third of respondents demand two-day shipping for goods purchased online, in-store buying and returning is still highly utilized by most shoppers.

“Consumer expectations are changing, and our survey results reinforce that manufacturers will want to revisit their planning, supply chain and distribution strategies to enure they are meeting the consumers’ needs,” said Paul Magel, President, Business Applications division, CGS. 

Consumers are also looking more closely at how a product is made, including if it is eco-friendly, and the cost for sustainable products.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents noted that they prefer their purchases be shipped to them; yet, 74% said that they will return an item in-store before shipping it back. Women in the age groups of 25-34 and 55-64 are also five times more likely to return items in-store than shipping it back, even if they purchased the items online.

Also, while 39% of respondents shop both online and in-store, 65% surveyed said they will research a product online before purchasing it in a store.

The survey found that the top factors that affect consumers’ purchasing decisions include the material and fabric of products and the ethical manufacturing of products. More than a third of all respondents noted “where a product is made” factors into their purchasing decision. Specifically, millennial women are six times more likely to consider where a product was made when purchasing, and half of female respondents in the 18-24 and 35-44 categories, and males aged 18-34 consider ethical manufacturing as a buying factor.

As 40% of respondents expressed interest in the ethics of the product, an increased interest in product sustainability was also clear. Now more than ever, consumers are willing to pay more for these ethically manufactured products. Half of millennial consumers, 45% of Gen X and 40% of Baby Boomers would pay more for a sustainable product than their generational counterparts.