TechSee Survey Shows: Consumers Return Billions of Dollars of Non-defective Electronics Annually From Sheer Frustration, Poor Customer Service

7 May 2019

NEW YORK, May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- TechSee, a global leader in visual customer assistance powered by AI and augmented reality, today released the results of a study on consumer return behavior for non-defective electronics products. The research revealed 41 percent of consumers have returned a non-defective item in the last 12 months, which global professional service consultants estimate contributes to more than $17 billion in lost revenue annually for brick-and-mortar and online retailers. The study also revealed 65 percent of respondents decide to return non-defective electronics early on, citing frustration and/or confusion during product unboxing/unpackaging, installation, and first use.

Consumers most often returned small home appliances, such as blenders and coffee machines (28.5 percent) followed by entertainment products, including speakers, TVs, and gaming consoles (25.2 percent); small gadgets (20.3 percent); phones and tablets (15 percent); major utility appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerators (5.7 percent); and home office products (4.8 percent). Fifty-four percent of consumers agreed that they would return product if they found it difficult to install, while nearly 70 percent said they would also return it if they found it difficult to operate, suggesting customer support is a critical component in lowering no-fault-found (NFF) returns. In fact, 72 percent of those polled stated good customer service would dissuade them from returning a product.

Many participants expressing a propensity to return product also stated they had never seen or interacted with the product – physically or virtually via video or augmented reality – prior to purchasing; only 16 percent had the ability to "try before they buy."

"The main conclusions from the study are that many NFF returns can be avoided altogether by offering highly visual interaction channels prior to purchase and with high-quality, visual customer assistance post purchase, especially during unboxing and installation," said Eitan Cohen, CEO of TechSee. "TechSee enables brands to reduce NFF returns by empowering customers to visualize their products during purchase to determine whether the product fits their environment and needs. Post-purchase, TechSee provides next-generation visual assistance using AI and augmented reality, to simplify the usage."

Viewing product manuals and still images during unpackaging, installation, and first use was not enough to prevent a return, participants said; only 23 percent of consumers reported that an image, such as a product manual picture, would deter them from returning the product. Rather, most expressed a preference for live video with an expert (44.4 percent).

The prevalence of consumer returns of non-defective electronic devices translates into a massive pain point for electronic brands and retailers, with Accenture reporting that 68 percent of all consumer electronics (CE) returns fall under the umbrella of no fault found (NFF), situations when an item is returned needlessly.

TechSee polled more than 3,000 consumers in the U.S for the census-weighted study. Men and women ages 18 to 60 of varying incomes, educations, and geographic locations. More details as well as a related infographic can be found here.

About TechSee

TechSee revolutionizes the customer experience domain by providing the first intelligent visual engagement solution powered by artificial intelligence and augmented reality. TechSee empowers enterprises across the globe to deliver a better customer experience and reduce costs. TechSee is led by industry veterans with years of experience in mobile technologies, computer vision, machine learning and big data. The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv with offices in Boston and Madrid. For more information, visit


Liad Churchill

VP Marketing TechSee

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