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Financial Solutions
05 Dec 2017

Lack of standard sizing means fashion returns are here to stay

But embracing returns increases loyalty

High returns are a fact of life in the online fashion industry. Part of the reason is people wanting to try on different styles to see what looks best, but another important reason is size. A 38 isn’t always a 38.

I heard a report on Swedish public radio the other week about a renewed push to unify and standardise clothing sizes across the EU. There has been a standard in place since 2001, but as anyone who has ever bought clothes or even shoes can tell you, you can be a size 38 in one brand and a size 42 in another. There is no widely adopted sizing standard, and items can vary dramatically between manufacturers, and even more so when you buy from another country.

Lots of those returns are people buying the same item, but in several different sizes, so they can make sure they get one that fits. The others get sent straight back.

With no such thing as one size fits all, it is hardly surprising that the fitting room is moving into the home. Instead of resisting that retailers that see returns as part and parcel of online shopping can turn that to their advantage by making it easier for their customers to try before they buy.

Zalando, for example, has found that making returns as convenient as possible for customers is a great way to build loyalty. Not only are customers who use its return service more likely to keep coming back, they also order more goods as returns are no longer seen as a hassle.

It also explains why so many online fashion shoppers prefer to pay after delivery. With AfterPay, our pay-after-delivery solution, your shoppers only pay for what they keep. That makes them happy, and more likely to come back for more, and makes you happy too. And to make it even better, we provide you with information on how they have paid and what they have bought to help you find out who your most profitable customers are, and the best way to reach them.


Patrik Vikner

– Head of User Experience, Arvato Financial Solutions


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