Today, the digital association Bitkom published its latest survey results on returns in online shopping. According to the results, the share of goods ordered online that are returned is estimated at 15 percent, putting a strain on the business of almost every second online retailer.
For this representative study, Bitkom Research, on behalf of the digital association Bitkom, surveyed 505 retail companies, including 203 retailers that sell partially or exclusively online, by telephone on how they handle returned goods.
These are further details:
- According to estimates by online shop operators, an average of 15 percent of ordered goods are being returned.
- 44 percent of online retailers said the high volume of returns was putting a strain on their business, and another 51 percent reported rising costs due to returns.
- At the same time, 65 percent of retailers agreed that digital technologies such as AI, big data or virtual reality can help reduce the number of returns. For example, virtual reality could be used to allow customers to try on clothes virtually and project furniture into their living rooms, or causes of returns could be analyzed by means of artificial intelligence.
Bernhard Rohleder, Bitkom CEO, commented: "For online retailers, returns mean a loss of revenue on the one hand and additional personnel and process costs on the other. For the environment, returns lead to more CO2 emissions due to additional delivery routes and more packaging waste. With the help of digital technologies such as AI, Big Data or virtual reality, purchasing decisions can be made more reliably."