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The State of Returns: Not all Returns are Created Equal

In today’s online retail landscape, returns are regarded as a major cost to businesses. While the rise in return rates gives an initial impression of customer dissatisfaction, it’s more nuanced than that. Different online shopping behaviors show that returns aren’t always a bad thing – especially when fit isn’t the reason for the return. 


The Right Kind of Returns
Understanding consumer behavior is key in unraveling the issue of returns. Different behaviors of online shoppers amount to different percentages of returns. By using data to solve fit issues, retailers can minimize the returns and increase customer experimentation and satisfaction. 


Different Strokes for Different Shoppers
True Fit’s data science team identified three common online shopping archetypes based on consumer research. The Size Sampler is a customer who buys one item in multiple sizes to ascertain the best fit, returning the size that doesn’t fit, which adds up to a 50% return rate. The Style Sampler is one who, with confidence in size and fit, instead tests out several different styles of items, resulting in a lower 30% return rate. An even smaller return rate comes from The Color Sampler: a customer who buys in various hues with a return rates of just 25%. Style and color samplers represent an opportunity for the retailer to expose shoppers to additional related styles.


Better Fit = Fewer Returns
Narrowing the gulf between each individual clothing designer’s intent and each consumer’s unique body shape and preferences is key to reducing wasteful returns that result from Size Sampling. Download True Fit’s special report on The State of Returns to learn more about how deeper personalization powers discovery that steers consumers toward styles they won’t want to return.