Germans Return Every Ninth Item Bought Online

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In Germany, online shoppers return approximately 11 percent of their purchases made on the internet. The frequency of returns tends to be higher among younger demographics, primarily due to issues such as size discrepancies or product damage, as revealed in a survey conducted by Bitkom, a German digital association. The study, encompassing 1,050 online shoppers aged 16 and above, highlights that only 24 percent of respondents never return their online purchases.

Gender disparities in return rates are evident, with men returning a smaller proportion (9 percent) compared to women (14 percent), according to Bitkom’s findings. Moreover, age plays a role in return behavior, with individuals between 16 and 29 years old returning an average of 15 percent of their online orders, while the figure stands at 13 percent for those aged 30 to 49. Conversely, individuals aged 50 to 64 return 10 percent, and those over 65 return only 7 percent of their purchases. Bitkom’s findings certainly show why returns are the highest priority for majority of DACH online retailers.

Common reasons cited for returns include sizing issues (67 percent), product damage or faults (56 percent), and dissatisfaction with the product (50 percent). Moreover, discrepancies between the product received and its description or image (41 percent), perceived poor quality (37 percent), and incorrect item deliveries (30 percent) contribute to return rates. Additionally, 29 percent of respondents admitted to ordering more than needed, intending to return surplus items, such as clothes in different sizes.