23 Ecommerce Return Statistics to Know in 2024

Sakshi Chandwani
BySakshi Chandwani

4 mins read

We made a comprehensive exploration of Ecommerce return statistics, where we unravel the intricate patterns shaping the online retail landscape. As the digital marketplace evolves, understanding the dynamics of product returns is crucial for businesses aiming to enhance customer satisfaction and optimize operations. In this blog post, we have compiled 23 ecommerce return statistics that you were looking for.

Table of Contents

How do we collect these statistics?

We collected these statistics from various sources like Shopify, Invespcro, Richpanel and more, to provide you with the most up-to-date information. So, buckle up and read on for some eye-opening insights into ecommerce returns.

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23 ecommerce return statistics you were looking for

Let's dive right into the 23 ecommerce return statistics that you've been eagerly waiting for.

  1. The average return rate for ecommerce is typically 20% to 30%. Factors influencing this rate include product dissatisfaction, incorrect sizing, or discrepancies between the product and its online description. [Source: Shopify]

  2. In 2021, online purchase returns spaned in almost all major product categories, ranging from 8% to 88%. Clothing retailers experience e-commerce returns the most, as this is the sector in which 88% of consumers have decided to return their orders. [Source: Simicart]

  3. Did you know at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned, as compared to 8.89% in brick-and-mortar stores? [Source: Invespcro]

  4. The payment method that most customers who return their online order use is credit cards (22.78%). [Source: Simicart]

  5. On average, holiday return rates huddle around 17.9% each year. [Source: Shopify]

  6. Half of the companies in North America and Europe already offered free returns and planned to continue doing so in 2021. [Source: Simicart]

  7. When asked about the most returned purchases by category, 26% of consumers chose clothing as their answer, followed by bags and accessories (19%) and shoes (18%). [Source: Shopify]

  8. One of the decisive reasons encouraging people to shop online is the easy return policy (33%). Other factors that can be mentioned are free delivery and discounts. [Source: Simicart]

  9. 57% of shoppers prefer an online shopping experience that provides simple and reliable returns. [Source: Simicart]

  10. Around 49% of retailers offer free return shipping now, whereas 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase. 62% of shoppers are more likely to shop online if they can return an item in-store. Whereas 58% of consumers want a hassle-free “no questions asked” return policy and 47% want an easy-to-print return label. [Source: Invespcro]

  11. 30% of online customers think fast refunds will create a pleasant return experience. [Source: Simicart]

  12. 62% of consumers are more likely to shop online if they can return an item to a store. [Source: Richpanel]

  13. 63% of customers expect a return window of up to 30 days, while 23% expect a traditional minimum of 14 days. [Source: Simicart]

  14. Collectively, consumers returned products worth a staggering $817 billion—just over 16% of total retail sales. The National Retail Federation estimates the cost of returns amounts to $101 billion. [Source: Shopify]

  15. 76% of first-time customers who enjoy an easy return experience say they would shop with that retailer again. [Source: Simicart]

  16. Given that 8 in 10 consumers read your returns policy before purchasing, and 72% of consumers say a simple return experience makes them more likely to shop from a merchant again in the future, the importance of an effective return policy cannot be overstated. [Source: Richpanel]

  17. Across all Shopify businesses, 65% of refunds are performed manually, the remaining 35% via apps. Here are three of the most popular. [Source: Shopify]

  18. Did you know that for every $100 in returned merchandise, retailers lose $10.30 to return fraud? Fraudulent return requests cause the biggest losses for 13% of all retailers, which is why return fraud has become more of a priority for retailers. [Source: Shopify]

  19. Although 57% of merchants report that ecommerce returns have a negative impact on their business, it is now recommended to offer free returns (including shipping) because it is one of the main reasons that encourages customers to shop online. [Source: Shippypro]

  20. Clothing has the highest return rate among all e-commerce verticals, with over 56% of total returns. [Source: Gitnux]

  21. 67% of online shoppers are considered “serial returners,” those who buy multiple versions of one item with the intent to return some. [Source: Gitnux]

  22. Ecommerce return rates are expected to grow by $1.4 Trillion by 2025. [Source: Gitnux]

  23. Below mentioned is the comparison between the categories and return rates:

Category Return Rates Return Rate (%)
Apparel 10.01%
Beauty 4.99%
Electronics 8.28%
Health and Wellness 4.20%
Jewelry 8.31% ‍
Sports & Outdoor 6.10%


Our journey through Ecommerce Return Statistics has provided invaluable insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and the ever-evolving landscape of online retail. Armed with this knowledge, businesses can strategize effectively, reducing return rates and fostering stronger relationships with their customer base. As the Ecommerce ecosystem continues to grow, staying informed about return statistics will be pivotal for sustained success in this dynamic industry.


One trend in ecommerce returns is the emergence of "serial returners," customers who frequently buy and then return items. Additionally, clothing and shoes tend to have higher return rates compared to other product categories. Free return shipping is also becoming an expectation among online shoppers. To stay competitive, businesses must track and analyze their return data for process and product improvements.

To minimize returns and enhance customer experience, ecommerce businesses can implement effective strategies. These include providing detailed product descriptions and images, offering sizing charts or fit guides, delivering excellent customer service, and considering free returns or exchanges. These measures help reduce dissatisfaction and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Offering free return shipping can be beneficial for retailers in the long run. It increases customer loyalty, as shoppers are more likely to make a purchase knowing they can easily return it for free. This can lead to increased sales and decreased return rates, but retailers should carefully consider the cost-benefit analysis before implementing it.

Return rates vary across different product categories. Clothing and shoes experience the highest return rates, while electronics have lower rates. Beauty products and home goods fall in the middle range. Understanding return rates for your specific category can help you effectively manage your ecommerce business.

Certain industries and product categories in e-commerce have higher return rates than others. For example, apparel and footwear often see higher returns due to issues with sizing and fit. Similarly, electronics experience a high return rate because of defects or buyer's remorse. On the other hand, industries like beauty, pet supplies, and home goods tend to have lower return rates.

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