Half of US consumers will abandon product purchases on Black Friday if there are no free returns offered, according to a survey conducted by Emarsys. The company also advised brands to factor in returns when measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.
The study showed that “aside from the size of the discount, free returns for unwanted products will be the biggest factor when deciding whether to buy this Black Friday,” according to a company spokesperson.
Emarsys’s survey of 1,000 US consumers revealed the following:
- 45% of consumers say that not having a free returns policy will be enough to put them off buying something they’re interested in this Black Friday — more than any other factor — while 48% say that free returns is the most important consideration for them aside from the size of the actual discount.
- 45% of consumers also say that knowing and trusting the brand they’re buying from will be a big factor when purchasing this Black Friday, while 43% also call out the ease of the brand’s website or app as important.
- Same-day and next-day delivery options are only important to 34% and 40% of bargain hunters respectively.
Alex Timlin, SVP of verticals at Emarsys, said it was surprising how many brands don’t factor returns into their advertising costs or customer lifetime value calculations.
“Let’s say you’re a fashion brand with $10m in online sales, but 40% is returned,” Timlin said. “Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics will say that you made $10m, but the CFO’s report will say you made $6m. That’s a $4m gap. Marketers should therefore focus on overall business outcomes and not just marketing performance metrics — and look at ways to reduce returns and costs through better and AI-powered personalisation.”
The company also found that 45% of US consumers who are intending to take advantage of Black Friday online this year will spend more time browsing for deals than they did last year — with nearly a third (32%) saying they’ve saved money specifically for Black Friday 2020,