Returning goods purchased online is ‘too much hassle’ for Irish adults - An Post survey

A new study shows two-thirds of people are not completely satisfied with items bought online, but just 38% send them back.

The research by An Post found that clothes are the most difficult items to buy with 62% saying sizes are too hard to judge.

One in three Irish adults say they shop online at least once a month.

According to the survey by ReturnPal, over one in three Irish adults shop online at least once a month, with convenience and brand availability cited as the main reason for this growing shopping trend.

Over half (52%) claimed they would spend more online than in traditional bricks and mortar stores, the chances of customers needing to return items is greater than ever.

However, people are not returning items due to the process being “too much hassle” (48%), or claiming that the items “aren’t worth enough” (34%).

One in five ReturnPal research respondents admit to having purchased an item they wouldn’t normally buy after a few too many drinks, with a quarter accidentally ordering something that they didn’t mean to buy in the first place.

Impulse buying is also a common trait in Irish consumers, with over 40% admitting to buying something online after seeing a friend wear it and one in three going as far as hiding online impulse purchases from a partner.

Main findings of the ReturnPal survey:

  • Two in three Irish adults aren’t completely satisfied with items purchased online
  • Almost half say that returning goods bought online is just “too much hassle”.
  • Just 38% of Irish adults will always return unsatisfactory online purchases
  • Clothes top the list for the most challenging online purchases, with 62% claiming sizes are too difficult to judge online

To meet the demands of evolving consumer shopping habits, An Post launched ReturnPal, an online service providing shoppers with a hassle-free way to return those unwanted or unsuitable Christmas and January Sales purchases.

The ReturnPal app is free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play Store and once registered, online shoppers can have their unsuitable or unwanted goods collected by An Post from an address of their choosing and returned directly to the retailer from which the goods came.

Returns can be booked up to midnight for following day collection, via the ReturnPal app.

Commenting on the research, Garrett Bridgeman, Managing Director Mails & Parcels at An Post, said:

“Our research shows that there is a clear need and demand for this service in Ireland and that demand will only increase as online spending grows amongst Irish consumers.

We have been able to match what An Post does best to a very real demand from the growing online shopping market.

For more information, search ‘ReturnPal’ on Apple Store or Google Play Store, or visit the website.

ReturnPal online research conducted among 260 Irish adults in November 2018.


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