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New Report Reveals Consumers Embracing Return Fees In Exchange For Convenient, Premium Offerings

Loop returns

New data from Loop finds 70% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay for more flexible return experiences

Loop, the leading returns platform that serves over 1,800 Shopify brands, released the findings of its most recent consumer report, “Consumer Preferences Require Premium Return Experiences,” providing insights into how brands can deliver a premium experience to retain revenue and customers.

Loop surveyed 1,000 U.S. online shoppers in December 2022 to better understand consumer preferences in the post-purchase experience. The report revealed 70% of consumers are willing to pay for more convenient, premium experiences – and 50% already have. Even as consumers are becoming more cost-conscious in their spending, convenience continues to reign. Next to convenience, consumers value sustainability in the return process, with 73% of shoppers regularly reviewing return policies to gauge the sustainability level of a retailer’s return practice when considering a purchase.

“Merchants can no longer fear adding return fees,” said Jonathan Poma, CEO of Loop. “Instead, they need to add return fees smartly. Our recent survey confirmed that shoppers are expecting premium return options like at-home pickup or boxless return drop-offs. And that a majority of shoppers are even willing to pay for them. This is a huge, profitable opportunity for merchants.”

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Some additional highlights from the report include:

Consumers are willing to pay for returns – especially for more convenient, premium experiences

  • Convenient, hassle-free returns really matter to consumers – so much so that more than half (56%) are willing to pay a return fee. Exactly how much are they willing to pay? Just over half (51%) said they are willing to pay between $1 and $5 for a premium return experience.

Younger shoppers increase calls for premium return experiences

  • Younger generations are pushing the boundaries of standard return options, looking for a premium experience that lives up to their expectations. When it comes to return methods, drop-off with a shipping partner remains the top preference across all generations – 69% of Gen Z, 67% of Millennials, 66% of Gen X and 69% of Baby Boomers. However, where 25+ consumers prefer to return their items in-store, over half (51%) of Gen Z shoppers prefer at-home pickup.

Return policies are purchase incentives – and sustainability plays a big role

  • While price remains the top factor consumers consider when making a purchase, a retailer’s return policy is now tied for second with product delivery speed. In fact, 98% of consumers agree, if a retailer provides a fast, convenient and hassle-free return experience, they’re more likely to shop with them in the future. Additionally, 88% of shoppers agree that eco-friendly return options make them more likely to shop again.

“Rising consumer standards don’t have to hurt retailers’ bottom lines,” Poma continued. “It’s time to let go of the one-size-fits all approach to returns and instead diversify your strategy to offer the convenience and sustainability consumers crave.”

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