In segments where the "touch and feel" aspect plays an important role (e.g. in fashion shops), the return quota is especially high. In the books and electronics sector, by contrast, quotas are much lower: Electronics items are sold based on hard facts, while fashion items must feel good, look good, and especially fit right. Thus, the customer's living room becomes the changing room for E-commerce. The customer expects of online shops that they will reflect his local shopping habits. This means that he would like to select numerous items that he can really look at, try on, and if necessary put back on the shelf or return.
The reason for the returns is largely that customers' expectations do not match the actual properties or performance of the product. In online retail, this misfit is more apparent than in offline business since here the demand and supply are spatially separated and the consumer can only evaluate the product after he receives it. Actual reasons for returns are often that the customer does not like the item, it does not fit or it is defective, there are similar items available or a variety of sizes were ordered for trying on.
In this whitepaper you will find helpful tips for reducing the return quota.