What does ‘click and regret’ mean for small retailers?

A new report from Gekko has found that a huge £641 million is wasted online every year from consumers buying goods, regretting the purchase but failing to return the item.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found:

  • 27% order goods online they regret buying but fail to return
  • 31% confess to being lured into buying items they don’t want or need
  • 70% regularly regret buying things online so send them back.  

There was also unease around the impact of small shopping on the UK high street (70%), and environmental concerns about excess packaging and single-use plastic (75% of respondents).

While Brits love to shop online, nearly half felt that the ease of shopping online fuels extensive shopping habits, 43% said they spend more money online than they originally intended and 65% said they spent more time shopping online than they expected because there’s too much choice.


SME Technology Guide sat down with Daniel Todaro, MD, Gekko, to talk about the report in more detail, and find out what steps small retailers should be taking.

How can small retailers take advantage of this consumer data to get more people in store?

“Consumers’ purses are getting tighter therefore for retailers the ability to offer an experience that enables a considered purchase, rather than impulse or pressured removes buyers’ remorse and increases the consumer’s satisfaction. Satisfaction increases the chances of consumers becoming a repeat customer and that benefits a retailer’s bottom line. 

“For the more savvy retailer, it’s an opportunity to open an on-going dialogue and engage with your customer in a more personal manner.”   

Is this a sign of a longer term trend? Should small retailers on the high-street stick it out in the hope of a long term turnaround? 

“Yes. Shoppers are aging and those who are beginning to become consumers such as generation z and alpha value are becoming increasingly more astute and aware of sustainability and the need to reduce a personal carbon foot print, holding brands to account by insisting they declare the provenance of the items they make or range and the corporate responsibility they advocate. 

“Independent retailers can do this better than any other as they control the purchasing decisions that can be adapted at a local level to speak to its direct audience.”

As the holiday shopping season approaches, what would your top three tips for small retailers be?

  • Make it relevant to the average shopper that walks past your store, more so to those who have never ventured in because they perceive it to be ‘expensive’, ‘intimidating’, or ’not for them’.
  • Make people aware of yours and the brands you stock corporate responsibility and list provenance
  • Stock a range of items at all prices that meet every pocket, today’s £10 purchase becomes £20 on the next visit.

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