Gift Returns Survey: Slightly Fewer Making Returns This Year

After the holiday shopping season comes the holiday returns season. Gift recipients from all over the country will head to stores or websites to try and return some of the items they received from loved ones due to a variety of different reasons. So how many people have items to return this year? And how can gift returns impact businesses even after the holidays?

gift returns

Holiday Gifts

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 78% of respondents said that they received holiday gifts this year. Overall, just 8% of those gift recipients said that they have multiple different items that need to be returned to the store or exchanged. 12% said they have one such item. 78% said they don’t need to make any returns or exchanges. And 3% were still undecided. Last year, just 72% said they didn’t need to make any returns or exchanges, according to a December 2014 survey. So it seems that gift givers may have done a slightly better job at picking out the right gifts in the right sizes this year than they have in the past.

Gift Returns

66% of those who have to make a return or exchange this year said they plan to do so in stores. 31% said they have to return a product via mail order or online. And 18% were unsure or plan to make a return in some other way. The most popular stores that respondents mentioned when it comes to gift returns were Walmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Target and Amazon.

The most common reason people cited for making returns in the first place was because of an item’s size; 52% said they need to return or exchange gifts because they are the wrong size or fit. 32% simply didn’t like an item they received. 26% are making returns due to having multiple of the same item. 18% said they would just rather pick out something themselves. And 11% cited other reasons, such as receiving a gift that was broken or defective.

Return Impact

In general, 21% of respondents said that they usually have gift returns to make after the holidays. And those returns can really have an impact on a store’s reputation and business year-round, because 65% of shoppers said that a store’s return policy or process can impact whether or not they decide to shop there again.

However, the overall feeling surrounding gift exchanges doesn’t seem to be a positive one. Just 35% said that they find returning or exchanging gifts in stores to be at least somewhat convenient. And 28% said they consider exchanging online orders to be at least somewhat convenient.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Bicester Village Shopping from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on December 27 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.