Why Retailers Stop Selling Online: The Hidden Cost Of E-Commerce

by MR Magazine Staff

The problem is such that some small businesses are actively turning away from online trading. According to Barclaycard’s research, more than a fifth (22%) of bricks and mortar retailers choose not to sell online due to concern about the costs of managing delivery and returns. They include Dale and Kate Fletcher, who run independent shoe retailer Molemi, with shops in Chipping Campden and Stratford-upon-Avon. They originally embraced e-commerce, offering an online shop, free delivery and free returns. But it quickly turned into an expensive exercise. “More and more products were coming back,” says Dale. “When consumers click to order, they don’t see it as buying until it’s landed on their kitchen table and they can just send it back.” The ease of online shopping has fundamentally changed customer behaviour. Barclaycard’s research found that 30% of shoppers deliberately over-purchase then return unwanted items. It’s a facility that affects their purchasing decisions – 58% said a retailer’s returns policy has an effect on their decision to make a purchase online – but not one that they want to pay for. Nearly half (47%) of those consumers asked wouldn’t order an item if they had to foot the bill for the return. Read more at The Guardian.