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Charging for returns: pure players follow the lead of omnichannel retailers

Since spring 2022, H&M and Zara adopted a policy of charging for returns on online purchases, thus setting standards for standardisation of e-commerce market. Some pure-players are following this lead, marking a new evolution in this competitive market. mind Retail summarises the commercial policies of the main online fashion players in Europe and in the U.S.A.

Through Bleuenn Fequant. Published on 27 January 2023 à 17h41 - Update on 30 January 2023 à 13h59

The key points

  • For omnichannel retailers, charging for online returns is a winning bet to generate more store traffic and additional spending.
  • With profitability under pressure, more pure-players are expecting fees for returns by 2023
  • Charging for returns to the customer means offering a higher quality and range of services
  • Increasing the average basket for free shipping on e-commerce orders is an alternative to charging for returns

In the fashion sector, introducing paid e-commerce returns is a necessity for some players since the Covid-19 pandemic. “For France and the U.K. with respectively 21% and 33% of fashion sales online in 2021, return rates were around “20% to 30% before Covid-19. Germany was already around 50% due to the historical mail order culture”, explains Cédric Rossi, Analyst at Bryan, Garnier & Co. Today, German returns have slightly increased but exploded in France and in the U.K., increasing by up to 15 points compared to 2019.”…

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