One out of every three apparel purchases made online is returned. Businesses with those return rates would never be able to survive in other sectors. Imagine if one out of every three restaurant customers sent their food back? Or one out of every three travelers canceled their flight tickets? The 33 percent return rate would be untenable. However, online retail is a different beast than brick-and-mortar, especially when it comes to apparel. Online shoppers are unable to try on items, figure out the right size, touch and feel the product, and only have a limited ability to see intricate details. Sizing and fit top the list of reasons why consumers make returns. By integrating tools to help shoppers make smarter fit decisions, online retailers can dramatically reduce their return rates.
While returns and e-tail typically go hand-in-hand, successful businesses today are realizing the advantages of properly analyzing products in new and innovative ways. By understanding the underlying reasons that can often contribute to returned goods, online merchants will begin to appreciate that a good return experience can offer them a serious competitive advantage.