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12TH DECEMBER DUBBED ‘SEND-BACK SATURDAY’ AS TWO THIRDS OF ONLINE SHOPPERS PLAN TO RETURN ANY UNWANTED PURCHASES PRE-CHRISTMAS

Press Release   •   Dec 11, 2015 11:36 GMT

12TH DECEMBER DUBBED ‘SEND-BACK SATURDAY’ AS TWO THIRDS OF ONLINE SHOPPERS PLAN TO RETURN ANY UNWANTED PURCHASES PRE-CHRISTMAS

  • Post Office is braced for ‘Send-back Saturday’ as Brits are set to return a predicted £160million[i] worth of goods this weekend
  • One in ten (9 per cent) shoppers return items to ensure they get money back for Christmas
  • Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of people prefer to return online shopping via the Post Office
  • Post Office expecting busiest year yet for online returns

Following the record breaking spending spree of £3.5 billion[ii] spent over the Black Friday weekend the Post Office is braced for ‘Send-back Saturday’ as Brits are set to return a predicted £160million worth of goods before Christmas. A new survey by Post Office found that almost two thirds of shoppers (60 per cent) will be returning any unwanted items this weekend.

The 12th December, is being dubbed ‘Send-back Saturday’, as people look to return any unwanted items following the previous weeks surge in online shopping. The Post Office is expecting a busy weekend as almost three quarters of people (72 per cent) say their preferred route of returns is via a Post Office branch[iii].

Over 75 per cent of people admit that online shopping has caused them to alter the way they shop, with just under half of shoppers (43 per cent) admitting they buy more online than they ever would in store. Half the nation (48 per cent) also spends longer browsing for items on the net than they would if they were on the high street. A quarter of people in the UK (26 per cent) say they used the Black Friday shopping weekend to buy items for themselves rather than gifts.

The ease of online shopping is increasingly resulting in people buying more than they need and subsequently returning more of their shopping. A fifth (22 per cent) of people admit to being more impulsive when shopping online as the process is now so quick and easy. Although one in fourteen (7 per cent) say they know they will be buying items they will need to return it seems online shoppers don’t always find it as easy to return items with a quarter of Brits (25 per cent) saying they think it’s too much hassle.

With these changing shopping habits a different breed of shopper has emerged. The survey has revealed four distinct online shopping characters; ‘Web Window Shoppers’, ‘Stockpile Shoppers, ‘Sceptical Surfers’ and ‘Rapid Returners’.

A third (30 per cent) of ‘Web Window Shoppers’ admit to trawling through online shopping sites for far longer than they would in shops. They are looking to be inspired online and are attracted to new and unusual things with one in 14 (seven per cent) knowingly buying items with ‘intent to return’. Often filling their online baskets high, one in ten (9 per cent) later realise they have spent too much money and need to return items to get the cash back.

Enticed by online deals one in eight ‘Stockpile Shoppers’ buy far more than they need or indeed intended to buy. A mixture of eagerness to please, panic and indecision means the ‘Stockpile Shopper’ accumulates a mountain of excess shopping. Over half (56 per cent) say it is extremely important to know items are easy to return if they are not right as they will undoubtedly end up returning some of their squirreled away purchases.

On the other hand almost a third (31 per cent) of the nation are ‘Rapid Returners’. These tactical and savvy shoppers know what they want and where to get it. Often return gurus, one in ten (10 per cent) send back their purchases within twenty four hours, while a further one in ten (10 per cent) will always investigate if they can return items through a click and collect service. One in six (13 per cent) keep a watchful eye on cheaper deals and return recently bought items if they spot it cheaper somewhere else.

The research highlights that one in ten (9 per cent) shoppers are yet to be won over by online shopping. ‘Sceptical Surfers’ prefer in-store experiences as one in six (14 per cent) believe online products are often different in reality to how they appear on a site. A quarter (25 per cent) of these shoppers forget to return items they buy online and can waste up to £132 per year on unreturned items.

The top 10 reasons stated for items being returned this weekend:

  • 1)Item was the wrong size
  • 2)I changed my mind
  • 3)I bought multiple versions with intent to return some
  • 4)The description online was wrong
  • 5)I bought the wrong item
  • 6)I found a cheaper version elsewhere
  • 7)I found something better at a later date
  • 8)My partner or family did not like it
  • 9)I needed the money back

10)I spent too much

The survey reveals that clothes, shoes and technology are the most returned items. However when it comes to remembering to return things women are more careless than men. Surprisingly one in seven women (12 per cent) admit to forgetting to return items compared to one in ten (10 per cent) men. Over a quarter (28 per cent) of women go as far as to say it is too much hassle to do so compared to one in five (20 per cent) of men.

Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer from Post Office says; “With more of us shopping from our sofas it’s interesting to see the different traits developing. With so much choice online it’s easy to see why people buy more than they need and then return unwanted items. This is why we’re expecting our busiest Christmas ever for online returns. We know that three quarters (72 per cent) of people prefer to return online shopping via the Post Office and with our longer opening hours and modernised branches we can ensure people can return their online shopping at a time that suits them.”

“With over 50 per cent of people saying they check to ensure there is an easy and convenient returns policy when shopping online, a simple returns solution is an important part of the online shopping mix”

For further information on Post Office at Christmas including last posting dates and posting advice, please visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/christmas

Ends

Notes to editors:

Issued by: Post Office Press Office

Tel: 020 3077 2000

Research was conducted by One Poll surveying 2,000 UK adults on behalf of Post Office between 27th – 30th November 2015.

About Post Office:

With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office - 17m customers visit a Post Office branch each week, including a third of the UK’s small businesses.

We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.

We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

[i] According to a report by Clear Returns

[ii] According to data company Experian and trade group IMRG UK shoppers

[iii] According to research by Hall & Partners for Royal Mail Delivery Matters – Returns Special report, December 2014.

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

Please note the Press Office team can only deal with enquiries from the media.  Unfortunately they do not have access to customer information so can not help with customer enquiries.

If you have an enquiry regarding any Post Office product or service please visit postoffice.co.uk or call 0845 611 2970 Local call rates apply. Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes.

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