It has become more than obvious that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the commerce landscape in 2020. For us, as returns management specialists an interesting aspect was to understand if these changes also influenced the returns behavior of consumers. A survey conducted by the University of Bamberg’s research team for e-commerce and returns management delivered some interesting insights.
Some results, such as the overall growth of the shipping volume were to be expected. It also made sense that the total number of returns grew accordingly. Interestingly, the percentage of returns in the researched sample declined slightly from 17,8% to 15,9%. The researchers saw the reason for this in a changed ordering behavior during the lockdown (more orders for actual needs) and new customer groups, such as older customers, who shifted from retail to e-commerce in the lockdown phase.
“The slight decrease in the returns percentage makes sense, as you don’t return necessities such as groceries, care products, or equipment that you needed for your home office. New buyer groups, such as older customers, might be more careful in their selection, leading to a lower return rate”, adds BuyBay’s CCO Oliver Lauterwein.