Returning a newly purchased item is easier than ever, thanks to the internet. In fact, merchants are required to guarantee this right, but what about customers who change almost everything they buy, as a rule?
Call "Wardrobe buyer" Buys and returns things obsessively. This is a customer profile that has grown in recent years, and this creates a number of problems for some enterprises with difficulties.
Harriet Gordon meets this profile.
The 28-year-old works in London, the United Kingdom, as a human resources consultant and admits that she only stores half of the things she buys online.
He usually spends around 500 USD per month, but it returns articles in which about $ 250 was spent.
Most of the time it does, because the clothes are not suitable, as expected, or because the color or fabric has nothing to do with the photo, which urged him to buy the product on the Internet.
“You see models wear things that look fantastic,” he explains, but claims that When testing, they do not look the same.
The fact that many of the stores where you buy, offers delivery of goods to your home, facilitates the process.
Check and throw away
Despite working in London’s central and commercial district, Harriet Gordon says it's much easier to buy online and thus avoid the queues and stresses of physical stores.
This is similar to what happens with Hester Granger, a 41-year-old woman who bought seven wedding dresses Online Asos, one of the most popular online fashion stores around the world.
I knew that I would stay with one, but I wanted to make sure that it was the right one.
This was not a specific case. When you need new Texans, ask for five pairs, and then choose one.
In general, he calculated that he spends between $ 480 and $ 510 a month on clothes, but he returns so much that, after all, he usually spends no more than $ 90 or $ 100.
“I spend hundreds of dollars on various items from different stores during the month, but I’ll probably be back about 80%,” he tells the BBC.
Hester, founder of Mumala Club, platform online for mothers, says your buying habit This is due to its small growth.,
He measures 1.5 meters in height, and it is difficult to understand that something will do, so he often asks for three sizes of the same object.
Buyers such as Harriet and Hester are not unusual.
A recent study by multinational credit provider Barclaycard, which analyzed almost half of debit and credit operations in the United Kingdom, says that a quarter of retailers have seen that the number of calls has increased over the past two years.
In the case of clothing and shoe stores, consumers return almost half of what they buy, the report says.
Social networkshelp to increase the trend: about 10% of buyers are recognized in selfie for Instagram or Facebook, creating a new article, and then returning the purchase.
Jeff Beatty, a professor of psychology at Edge Hill University in England, said he was surprised that the number of returns is not yet higher.
His own research shows that our pulsations accelerate when we buy This emotion lasts until we take the item home and we show it, but then it quickly disappears and we regret that we spent the money or that we did not wear this item of clothing. Therefore, we give it back, he explains.
“What happens next is the least exciting part of the whole process,” he tells the BBC.
The increase in online shopping contributes to this habit because "No guilt or shame" or the need to give too many explanations, says the specialist.
In addition, large discounts, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, encourage so-called “Attempt to panic”which are usually more associated with subsequent repentance by the buyer.
Problem for shops
Returns not only include shipping costs, but also packaging and cleaning. In addition, it is a waste of time.
If an item is unavailable, it may be caused by the fact that it is returned. And to avoid the fact that some stores must ask for more than they expect to sell.
Another problem is fast fashion cycleBy the time the product was returned, it could be sold, which means that the store can no longer sell it at the original price.
This makes some traders increase pricesAccording to Barclaycard, a third of them in the United Kingdom do this.
The fact that the stores, by all means, are trying to ensure sales at the time of sales, has made it easier for customers to return goods without additional maintenance costs. Sometimes they even offer the option "Try before you pay",
It is inevitable that many will take advantage of the system.
But some companies are struggling with this. Internet giant Amazon, For example, he started block customers who return too many things.
“We want everyone to use Amazon, but sometimes people abuse our service for a long period of time,” a company spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.
Other companies are following suit.
However, Vicky Brock, director of data and innovation at eBound Returns, a revenue management software system, says it’s wrong to assume that those who return often are bad customers.
Brock claims that a small portion of buyers generates the greatest profits, but this group includes both the best and the worst customers.
“The veto on customers by returning goods repeatedly ignores the value of each customer and shows that the seller he does not understand the behavior of his clients“- he tells the BBC.
There are data that show that the more orders customers make over time, the less profit they make per order.
Experts say that providing the best images of clothes on the Internet and more accurate sizes is one of the ways stores can reduce returns.
Some companies, such as Uniqlo and Asos, already have offers 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 has a tendency to stay in pants, but always returns shoes, advertising will only come from the first.
Vicki Brock says that stores must act as a matter of urgency as the trend increases.
Buyers, such as Hester, do not intend to change their behavior. “I do not regret traders, they are part of the problem because they offer free or very cheap incomes. They should better adjust the sizehe explains.