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People returning almost everything they buy online

More and more customers are returning again and again what they are buying, and this habit increases business costs. Why do they do it and what should they do with them?

Returning a newly purchased item is easier with the internet than ever. In fact, traders have a duty to guarantee this right, but what do customers who mostly change almost everything they buy?

The so-called "wardrobe buyer" purchases and returns things in a nutshell. It is a customer profile that has increased in recent years and is a problem for some businesses with difficulty.

Harriet Gordon meets this profile.

28 years of work in London in the UK as a human resource consultant, and recognizes that he only holds half of the things he purchases online.

He usually spends about $ 500 every month, but he returns the items he spent about $ 250.

Most of the time it does because the clothes do not fit as expected, or because the color or fabric has nothing to do with the photos that persuaded him to buy the product on the internet.

"You see models that have things that look fantastic," he explains, but says they do not look the same in testing.

The fact that many of the stores where you buy offer domestic revenue yields makes this process easier.

Test and throw away

Despite working in London's central and commercial district, Harriet Gordon says it's much easier to buy online and so avoid the queues and stress of physical stores.

It is similar to what happens to Hester Grainger, a 41-year-old woman who bought seven wedding dresses on the Asos website, one of the most popular online fashion stores all over the world.

Hester Grainger

Hester Grainger says he returns almost everything he buys.

I knew I would end up with only one, but I wanted to make sure it was the right one.

It was not a special case. If you need new texans, ask for five pairs and choose one.

Overall, she calculates that she spends between $ 480 and $ 510 a month on clothes, but returns so much that what she spends is usually not more than $ 90 or $ 100.

"I spend hundreds of dollars on different shipments from different stores for one month, but I'll probably go back to 80%," says the BBC.

Hester, Founder of the Mumal Club, platform online for mothers, she says her shopping habit has to do with a low status.

It measures a height of 1.5 meters, and it is hard to know if anything comes in, and so often requests three sizes of the same item.

Woman with shopping bags

Some studies show that our hearts will accelerate when we buy.


Buyers like Harriet and Hester are not unusual.

A recent study by Barclaycard, a transnational provider of payment cards, analyzing nearly half of debit and credit transactions in the UK, reports that a quarter of retailers have seen revenue growth over the past two years.

In the case of clothing and footwear shops, consumers return almost half of what they buy.

Social networks help drive this trend: around 10% of buyers admit to accepting selfie for Instagram or Facebook, introducing a new article and then returning a purchase.

Geoff Beattie, a professor of psychology at Edge Hill University in England, says he is surprised that the number of returns is not even higher.

Your own research shows that our pulsation is accelerating when we buy it. The feeling lasts until we start the shipment home, and we will show it, but then it quickly disappears and we regret that we spent the money or the fact that we were not wearing clothes. So we put it back, he explains.

"What happens next is the least exciting part of the process," says the BBC.

Hester Grainger

Hester says shortening the purchase of clothes online is more difficult.

Increasing online shopping promotes this custom because "there is no blame or shame" or the need to provide too many explanations, says the expert.

In addition, large discounts like Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday encourage the so-called "Shopping for Panic", which tends to be more related to the buyer's reproach.

Problem for shops

Returns include not only delivery costs, but also packing and cleaning. They are also a waste of time.

If an item is not available, it may be because it is returned. And to prevent some businesses having to ask for more than they expect to sell.

Another problem is the fast fashion cycle. Once the item has been returned, it may be for sale, which means that the store can no longer sell at the original price.

This causes some traders to raise prices. According to Barclaycard in the United Kingdom, it does a third of them.

Amazon storage

Amazon has some problems with "wardrobes".

The fact that businesses try to ensure sales at any time makes it easier for customers to return goods without paying for additional service costs. Sometimes they even offer the option to "try before payment".

It is inevitable that many will use the system.

However, some businesses are afraid of this. Internet giant Amazon, for example, has begun to block customers who are returning too many things.

"We want everyone to use Amazon, but sometimes people abuse our service for a long time," a spokesman for The Wall Street Journal said.

Understand customers

However, Vicky Brock, eBound Returns Data & Innovation Director, a revenue management software system, claims it is wrong to assume that those who are often returning are bad customers.

Brock argues that a small portion of buyers generate the most revenue, but this group includes both the best and the worst customers.

"Returning buyers repeatedly ignores the value of each customer and reveals that the trader does not understand the behavior of his customers," says the BBC.

Vicky Brock

Vicky Brock says that those who often return their products are not bad customers.

There are data to show that the more orders the purchaser over time, the less the yield on the order.

Providing better images of clothing on the Internet and more accurate size is one of the ways in which businesses can reduce revenue, experts say.

Some companies like Uniqlo and Asos already have suggestions based on previous purchases and information about the weight and height of the client.

Another option is to direct personalized marketing. For example, if a customer tends to stay in their trousers but always returns shoes, the ads come only from the first.

Vicky Brock argues that trends should increase.

Buyers like Hester do not intend to change their behavior. "I'm sorry for traders, they are part of the problem because they offer free or very cheap returns, they should better adjust the size," he explains.

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