Back Office: A “Returning Problem”
Customers returning electronics products will cost U.S. CE retailers and manufacturers nearly $17 billion this year, an increase of 21 percent since 2007, according to a new Accenture research report. These costs include receiving, assessing, repairing, reboxing, restocking and reselling returned products.
The research is based in part on a survey of executives from communications carriers, and CE retailers and manufacturers, which revealed that product return rates over the past three to five years have increased for more than half of the retailers (57 percent) and nearly half (43 percent) of the manufacturers surveyed. Only 13 percent of the retailers and 12 percent of the manufacturers surveyed indicated that return rates are trending downward.
But the Accenture research also revealed a significant opportunity for the industry to cut costs and reduce the level of product returns, given that only 5 percent of returns are related to actual product defects. While 27 percent reflect "buyer's remorse," 68 percent of returned products ultimately are characterized as "no trouble found." This means that, despite the customer perceiving a fault, no problem was detected when the item was tested against specifications set by retailers or manufacturers, according the report, titled "A Returning Problem: Reducing the Quantity and Cost of Product Returns in Consumer Electronics," which captures key findings and insights based on the survey (www.accenture.com/product-returns-electronics).