September 28, 2023

Navigating the landscape of e-commerce returns in Europe: insights and solution

Did you catch the fact? E-commerce returns rate is now at 20%, much higher than brick-and-mortar (8%-10%). Managing these returns is a major headache for merchants, but effective handling boosts customer retention. From understanding the overview of e-commerce returns in Europe to the returns handling process, we’re here to guide you through streamlined returns operations.

A quick look at the e-commerce returns in Europe

Younger consumers consistently exhibit higher return rates compared to their older counterparts. In Switzerland and the U.K., individuals aged 18-24 return approximately double the number of items compared to those aged 65 and above. This trend could result from the younger generation’s greater familiarity with the returns process.

Specifically, Swiss consumers stand out by returning the highest proportion of goods, accounting for nearly 15% of all purchases.

Average Return Rate Among European Consumers 2021

In regard to the average returns rates by category, womenswear witnessed the highest returns rates of 23%, and footwear was next highest at 20%.

  • Women clothing: 23%
  • Men clothing: 20%
  • Footwear: 20%
  • Children clothing: 11%
  • Home and garden: 9%
  • Electronics: 7%
  • Gift: 6%
  • Health and beauty: 4%

Understanding customers’ returns process

The e-commerce return process begins when a customer initiates a return request. It can happen for various reasons, including receiving the wrong item, being unsatisfied with its size or quality, or simply changing their mind about a purchase. There are usually four steps in the customer returns process.

Customer Returns Process

Streamlined e-commerce returns: what happens behind the scenes

Behind the scenes of every seamless e-commerce returns process lies in logistics and operations. At CIRRO E-Commerce, we specialize in handling returns, whether they’re cross-border or domestic, and we’ve got the infrastructure to make it happen seamlessly.

Wide network for convenient returns

Our European network covers over 30 EU countries, making returns hassle-free. We’ve strategically placed local hubs across Europe, making them perfect touchpoints for your customers to return parcels. This ensures quick and efficient collection and handling. With a PUDO network, your customers can drop off parcels at convenient PUDO points, and we take care of transporting them to the nearest hubs for processing.

All-in-one returns management

Our services handle both e-commerce and undeliverable returns with ease.

Undeliverable returns find their way efficiently to our local warehouses, streamlining the collection process. We offer options including storage solutions, abandonment, relabeling, and reassignment services, empowering you with options to tailor the returns process to your exact requirements. For customer returns, our standard package offers quality inspection, check-in, and 21-day storage, with customizable extras.

Returns Handling at CIRRO E-Commerce Europe

Responsive value-added returns services

We provide returns management, including API integration to monitor processes and acquire photos, eco-friendly disposal to minimize waste, and reshipment to recover revenue.

End-to-end traceability

Your customers can enjoy full traceability of return parcels from their initial shipment to their final delivery point. Our hassle-free returns process ensures complete visibility and controllability, facilitating a smooth and transparent experience for all parties.

Embrace green shipping for reverse logistics

Managing returns sustainably can be a huge challenge, as additional transportation often leads to increased emissions. But we’ve taken up this challenge with a commitment to integrating green principles into our return processes. Through our partnership with Trees For All, we compensate emissions and actively contribute to reforestation efforts. This enhances the overall eco-friendliness of our return solutions.