ZigZag: 48% of all returns over the Christmas period were paid returns

ZigZag: 48% of all returns over the Christmas period were paid returns

 Global returns provider ZigZag is predicting the biggest-ever wave of January returns in 2024.

It has already seen a 42% increase in returns in the UK, comparing volumes on 1st and 2nd January 2024 with those of the same dates last year. There was also a 16% YOY increase in returns during the Christmas period (24th December – 2nd January) in the UK and interestingly, this rose to 26% in the US.

Commenting on the January returns flurry, ZigZag’s CEO, Al Gerrie stated: “This influx of returns at the beginning of January is not surprising in the current economic climate and indicative of how consumers are trying to keep spending down. Whilst we’re not expecting returns to be up 42% over the whole of January, these figures show we can expect to see one of the busiest January’s ever for returns.

It’s possible that shoppers are returning Christmas gifts and purchases now with the intention of purchasing them cheaper in the January sales – a complex situation that retailers will need to carefully navigate”.

As more and more retailers move to a paid-for returns model, it’s unsurprising that 48% of all returns over the Christmas period were paid returns. From a global perspective, both Germany and France showed sizable jumps of 13-20% in paid returns from 24th December 2023 to 2nd January 2024 compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, 63% of ZigZag’s retail clients now include a paid returns solution in some capacity, demonstrating where the future of retail returns is heading.

Why shoppers are returning

Sizing issues continue to be a key driver for fashion returns, accounting for 49% of all returns globally and an astounding 68% of all returns in the UK – up 37% YOY. In addition to this, 9% of all returns in the UK were due to items being defective – not good for any product, let alone Christmas gifts.

On sizing, Al Gerrie added: “This is likely due to the ongoing practice of shoppers purchasing multiple sizes of items with the intention of trying them on at home and returning those that don’t fit or of course, the issue of buying items for others. The inconsistency of sizing is an ongoing frustration for shoppers and if retailers want to reduce returns, a key factor they need to address. Many retailers now include customer reviews and sizing guides to indicate if it comes up small/large or true to size, virtual changing rooms are also a good way to counteract this issue”.

How shoppers are returning

ZigZag has also seen a distinct change in how shoppers are returning their items, with home collection up an impressive 77% year-on-year and locker drop-off also up 68%. Traditional methods of returns are still popular however, with returns via the Post Office up by 29% YOY.

“As is expected, where flexibility and choice is offered, consumers are jumping on the opportunity. With people spending more time working from home, collection from home is an appealing option. Shoppers have also matched the UK’s expansion of locker drop-off locations with an eagerness to utilise them as a convenient returns method”.

For more information or data from ZigZag or to speak with Al Gerrie in more detail please contact: [email protected]

Relevant Directory Listings

Listing image


KEBA is an internationally successful high-tech company with headquarters in Linz (Austria) and subsidiaries worldwide. KEBA is active in the three operative business areas: Industrial Automation, Handover Automation and Energy Automation. The company has been developing and producing for more than 50 years according to […]

Find out more

Other Directory Listings




P&P Poll


What's the future of the postal USO?

Thank you for voting
You have already voted on this poll!
Please select an option!

MER Magazine

The Mail & Express Review (MER) Magazine is our quarterly print publication. Packed with original content and thought-provoking features, MER is a must-read for those who want the inside track on the industry.


News Archive

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This