Amazon return rate is generally about 5-15%, but it varies widely depending on the category. Books and media have lower returns rates as they are generally well described products that the customer knows what they’re getting. Returns rate are much higher (>25%) for items like clothing , shoes and jewellery where there’s a fit and trial element involved in the purchase. Other general merchandise (electronics housewares etc.) generally sit in the average 5-15% range. Amazon (and online retail in general) typically has higher customer return rates than average (say 1-2 percentage points), due to the customer not being able to touch the product before they buy but also because when returning they don’t have to go through the process of returning to a human being at the store service desk, who will typically act as a barrier to spurious returns.
I run a long term return rate that is in the 1.6% range and even shoes usually run about 3.5-5% and I’m talking about tens of thousands of transactions over several years. I suspect it does have a lot to do with category and price point. I sell a lot of inexpensive health and beauty items and I suspect people return toothpaste less often than they return
IME that’s the number one highest return rate item because – especially with high-end shoes, people are very – VERY picky about fit. And I don’t really blame them. If your feet hurt, you hurt all over.
You might be able to tolerate a shirt that’s a little snug or a little loose, but shoes? Nope. Especially if you paid a lot of money for them, or you are planning to run in them wink emoticon
I make a point, as everyone should, to look carefully at their refund reports, to see what the issue is with the products described. With shoes, it’s almost always “too big” or “too small,” or the equivalent in Amazon-speak. Though it concerns me to have that high a return rate, I only pull products that seem to have a different type issue, such as quality.
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