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PIM News
08 Nov 2011

Dissatisfied online customers: deliveries don’t meet expectations

34 per cent of online shoppers return parcels

The reason is often a lack of information about products

Large rate of returns in online shops    
Every third online shopper returns products that fall short of expectations. One out of ten buyers returns articles because the photos and descriptions posted online arouse false expectations. This situation is doubly galling for the e-shops: for one thing, returns lose them buyers, for another, they incur tremendous costs. These are the findings of a recent trend survey on product information management in e-commerce conducted by novomind.

Fashions and furniture are the most returned categories    
The parcels most often returned to sender are in the fashion sector. More than half of all customers repeatedly return fashion articles because they do not like the articles or the products do not fit properly. Other categories in which products are most likely to be returned are furniture and household articles. One in five online shoppers stated that they often had home furnishings picked up again.

Frequent returns decimate online traders’ profits
Frequent returns cost online retailers dear. A returned parcel costs several euros in transport but also causes extra work and expense, for example in complaint processing and returns accounting. All of these expenses narrow the retailer’s margin, rendering the business unprofitable. That’s why online shops are very interested in reducing the number of returned parcels.

Accurate product descriptions help prevent returns
One way to achieve this is to ensure a more accurate and realistic presentation of the products. “The important thing is for the online shop to convey the overall look and feel of a product,” says Markus Rohmeyer, director and head of PIM at novomind. This means providing detailed descriptions and clear pictures of the product from every angle, allowing the customer to compare and evaluate merchandise. “The more information we can put together about a product from different sources, the more accurate the consumers’ impression and the better they can judge whether the article really is what they are looking for,” says Rohmeyer.

Background information  
The 2011 PIM trend study “Product information as a sales driver in online shops” is based on a consumer survey conducted in May and June, in which 1,069 Germans who had shopped online in the previous 12 months answered questions on their online shopping habits. The central focus of the study was the extent to which product information management influences online buying.

novomind AG

Since 1999, Hamburg company novomind has been developing innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world in four e-business disciplines: e-commerce (e-shops and zoom server), PIM (product information management), e-marketplace (marketplace integration) and e-communication (solutions for contact and service centres).

novomind is a European technology leader in every service segment and covers the whole digital value-adding chain in retail and electronic customer communication.

novomind develops the tools for companies to set up central product databases to generate, process and manage product information (PIM). Now the IT service provider has developed novomind iPIM, a standard-enterprise B2C PIM solution, for the speedy integration of central and leading product databases into a company’s operations.

novomind AG is currently assisting more than 80 companies including Targobank, Der Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, gebrüder götz, OTTO and QVC.