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The top reasons online shoppers make returns

For more insights and key statistics on the biggest trends in today’s most disruptive industries, subscribe to our Chart of the Day newsletter.

The leading reason consumers in the UK and US return online purchases is due to size, fit, or color, according to Coveo. Damage, defects, and poor quality are other top reasons. Some 18% of UK and US consumers make returns because they order multiple sizes with the intent of keeping only those that fit.

Beyond the chart: Rising return rates are leading to billions of dollars in lost revenues for retailers. As a result, fast-fashion companies Zara and Boohoo began charging for returns earlier this year. Meanwhile, J.Crew and Gap Inc. have shortened return windows.

Retailers that implement these policies risk losing ground to Amazon, which still boasts free and easy returns. But doing nothing could saddle retailers with lots of unwanted merchandise and shipping costs.

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Methodology: Data is from the October 2022 Coveo "Holiday Shopper Report 2022." During July 2022, Coveo commissioned Arlington Research to survey 4,000 UK and US consumers about their shopping plans for the 2022 holiday season. Participants were evenly distributed between each country and among age groups.