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Indian apparel etailers struggle with size issues, return clause

Online buyers in India return purchases mainly because of size issues. The e-tailing industry is dominated by high returns and cancellations, with the difference between shipped and fulfilled gross merchandise value being more than 30 per cent. As Arun Sirdeshmukh, Business Head at Amazon Fashion points out when they look at reasons for return of products, most is to with customer’s looking for alternative size.

The fashion category has the highest cancellations and returns, while mobile and appliances have the least. Apparel and footwear are the largest constituents of returns even within the fashion business as opposed to non-size categories, which are lower. A study by RedSeer in March 2018 revealed that the e-tailing industry is dominated by high returns and cancellations with the difference between shipped and fulfilled GMV being more than 30 per cent. Fashion category has the highest cancellations and returns. However, the fashion and apparel category is the most revenue-generating category but it also has the highest return rate. Including returns from both cash-on-delivery as well, it could go as high as 40 per cent.


Besides size issues, returns of products take place because most online portals allow returns for a wide period of 30 days. Because of so many returns, a product gets worn by at least three or four people. After a product is returned, it’s repacked and sent to the next customer. The garment is not necessarily after every return.

Returns are costs that eat into the finances of online portals that are struggling to make profits.

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