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 Black Friday returns up 129% YOY since 2019

Black Friday returns are up 129% year on year by volume and by 74% in value since 2019, according to research from ZigZag.

The research shows that winter coats dominated the top ten most expensive items returned so far this year, while the cheapest was a two-pair pack of socks bought for 6p.

The research also shows that paperless returns, in which customers use a QR code rather than labels, are also increasing with 60% choosing this method and 23% of consumers wanting to choose the most sustainable option if given the option to do so.

Jeans were found to be the most common item to be returned from Black Friday sales as consumers continue to bracket – ie order multiple sizes to try on at home. ZigZag found earlier this year that a third of online shoppers (33%) now do this.

But it also found that wardrobing (wearing once and returning) or staging (wearing to take a photo for social media before returning) are also both behaviours that are on the increase.

Al Gerrie, CEO of ZigZag said: “We have seen some really interesting shifts in consumer behaviour compared with Pre-pandemic. It is clear that buyers prefer to buy and return online now and that speed of refund has become extremely important. The first Black Friday returns have already been sent back and customers are expecting instant refunds after they drop items off.

Retailers need to turn these products around quickly to get goods back in the supply chain and re-sold before Christmas. We have also noticed that there is a much bigger shift towards consumers selecting paperless returns via a QR code – almost 60% of shoppers selected this method.”

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