Swiss e-shoppers return almost every third parcel

The new e-shopper barometer from Geopost shows that the Swiss are European champions when it comes to returning goods ordered online.

Switzerland defends its title as European champion in returning products ordered online. Internet shoppers returned 28 percent of packages to the sender last year. The rate of returns continues to rise, even though more and more retailers have introduced a charge. This is shown by the new E-Shopper Barometer from Geopost, a study conducted regularly in over 20 European countries.

The proportion of returned parcels in Swiss online retailing has more than tripled in five years. While the rate was still 8 percent in 2017, it was already 28 percent according to the latest representative survey by Geopost - one percentage point more than in the previous year and another European record. On average, e-shoppers in other European countries returned only 14 percent of parcels. Portugal has the lowest rate at 6 percent. The statistics include all regular e-shoppers who order products online at least once a month. They account for 90 percent of the volume of e-shopping.

Obligation to pay for returns

Returns are on the rise, even though online shoppers are increasingly encountering obstacles: Only 45 percent found it easy to return packages last year. In the previous year, the proportion was 53 percent, and in 2019 it was as high as 62 percent. A similar trend can be seen in the other countries surveyed. Various large retailers have now introduced a charge for returns, at least for smaller order quantities. However, the e-shopper barometer also points to an opposing trend: there are more and more options for returning packages. 38 percent of online shoppers generally no longer use post offices for this, but a parcel store or a post office box.

The renewed rise in the returns rate in 2022 indicates that this is not a temporary development as a result of mobility restrictions. This also applies to online retailing as a whole: four out of five e-shoppers in Switzerland now shop online, over half of them regularly. These figures rose during the pandemic and have remained constant since. Online orders for fresh food and beverages increased sharply during the pandemic - here, too, there was no significant downward trend after the Covid measures were lifted.


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