SOURCE: Newgistics

December 11, 2007 08:00 ET

Newgistics Survey Finds Consumers Reward Retailers for Convenient Returns Process

Fifth Annual Holiday Shopping and Returns Survey Reveals Majority of Consumers Want to Return From Home

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - The 2007 U.S. holiday shopping season is in full force, but according to the fifth annual consumer returns survey commissioned by Newgistics, Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive®, it is clear that the retailers that provide a hassle-free returns process will be the ones that win the battle for the consumer. This year, nine out of 10 direct shoppers(1) (90%) cited a convenient returns policy as very important, important or somewhat important to encouraging them to shop with a new or unknown online or catalog retailer, a statistic which has held true since 2005.

With the high cost of fuel, a record number of shoppers will likely log-on to do their holiday shopping this year. The survey revealed that, in 2007, 64 percent of adults report having ever shopped online -- an increase of 10 percent since 2006, when 58 percent of adults shopped online, and 25 percent since 2004, when only 51 percent shopped online. As more consumers shop from the convenience of their own home or office, they are demanding that same ease-of-use in the return process. Two out of three direct shoppers (68%) said the ability to make a return from home was very important or important when deciding whether to shop with an online or catalog retailer. Clearly, retailers that recognize the value of returns as a critical touch point for consumers can use the returns process as a competitive weapon against their competition.

On the other hand, retailers that don't offer a hassle-free returns experience for shoppers may find it difficult to retain customers. 69 percent of direct shoppers said they are NOT likely to shop again with a direct retailer if the return process is inconvenient. During the hustle of the holiday season, retailers that deliver a hassle-free process from beginning-to-end will see the rewards the entire year.

"Our customers have a lot to do during the holiday season and we don't want to add any more stress during this busy time," said Jennifer Melzer, director of customer experience at Road Runner Sports, Newgistics' customer since 2004. "Returns happen, so the least we can do is make the returns process hassle-free for our customers during the holidays and all year long!"

For a copy of the report on the data collected in this survey, please contact newgistics@schwartz-pr.com.

About the Survey

The Holiday Shopping and Returns study was conducted by telephone within the United States on behalf of Newgistics, Inc. between November 23 and November 26, 2007 among 1,017 U.S. adults ages 18+, of whom, 798 have ever shopped online or through catalogs. Results were weighted for age, sex, geographic region, and race where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive is the 13th largest and one of the fastest growing market research firms in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls, and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its North American, European and Asian offices, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com. To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at www.harrispollonline.com.

About Newgistics, Inc.

Newgistics, Inc. (www.newgistics.com) is the leader in returns management solutions. Newgistics' patent-pending Intelligent Returns Management(SM) solution delivers the most convenience for customers while maximizing control of the returns process. Newgistics' SmartLabel® drives customer loyalty and increases profitability for leading retailers like Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch.

(1) U.S. adults ages 18+ who have ever shopped online or through catalogs (n= 798)