The mindset of today’s shoppers is very different than in previous decades. In the days when people only shopped in brick-and-mortar stores, they would give more consideration to a product before purchasing, because returning wasn’t always easy. It required keeping the receipt in a safe place, and then making a separate trip back to the store and waiting in line before they could successfully return the product and get their money back.
Even today, only 8.89% of products purchased at brick-and-mortar stores get returned, compared with up to 30% of all products ordered online. This is largely due to the fact that consumers cannot see, touch, or try on an online product before buying it. This, mixed with the ease of putting something right back in the box and shipping it back, have made returns a regular part of doing business that ecommerce retailers must deal with.
Order fulfillment-related errors also lead to many returns. About 20% of returns happen because a damaged product was received, and 23% of returns happen after a wrong item is received.