Why customers will pay to have their expectations exceeded

47% of consumers would pay extra to have their expectations exceeded, according to new research.

Data from Accenture show that customers are willing to pay for shopping experiences which go above and beyond, highlighting an opportunity for committed and customer-obsessed retailers to charge customers for higher quality experiences.

We know that returns are a particular problem for retailers at this time of year, with $41.6 billion in merchandise value expected to be returned from holiday purchases. For many retailers, it should be a strategic priority to offer customers the best possible experience both prior to purchase (NRF research shows 37% of shoppers were frustrated when trying to find product details and reviews) and after the purchase, so that they can easily manage their return.

The Financial Times reports that many retailers are not tooled up to deal with mass returns, and end up with stock sitting waiting to be graded, repackaged and brought back to stores. This time out of stock causes further financial damage and exacerbates the problem of returns.

Leading retailers using digital returns platforms have much better insight into stock movement, and can forecast returns coming back to warehouses, reducing their time out of stock and increasing their efficiency. On top of this, thanks to the app and chat-based nature of digital returns, they no longer need to include a paper returns label in each parcel.

For customers, who are looking for better and more digitally enabled experiences, the ability to book in returns on their phone whilst on the go and find local points to drop their items off adds a layer of convenience that can help salvage their brand relationship after the disappointment of an item which doesn’t fit, or which looks different to the images online.