Retailers face ‘Phantom Economy’ headache as shopper returns rise

Retailers face ‘Phantom Economy’ headache as shopper returns rise

We have become a nation of serial returners, according to research from Barclaycard.

UK shoppers return £7 billion of purchases each year. 26% of retailers have seen a rise in returns in-store and online over the last two years. The fashion sector is being particularly badly hit. Brits splash out an average £313 on online clothes shopping each year and send £146-worth back, often citing sizing issues.

“It’s clear having an effective and convenient returns policy that satisfies customer needs is a crucial factor of success for retailers. While many have adopted new processes to help manage increasing returns volumes, the real focus should be on measures which help to reduce over-ordering in the first place,” says Konrad Kelling, Managing Director of Customer Solutions at Barclaycard.

“Implementing technology such as virtual fitting rooms which allow shoppers to visualise how products will look when worn, for example, is one way retailers could reduce the number of returns and refunds they contend with, and in turn, the size of the ‘phantom economy’.”

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