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Myopia, customer returns and the theory of planned behaviour

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Abstract:

As a prevalent and growing form of customer behaviour, deshopping is on the rise. Retailers' focus on good customer service and the offering of lenient returns polices has led to the growth in this fraudulent behaviour of customers in returning goods. This paper considers retailer myopia in the context of dishonest customer returns, applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) using a quantitative questionnaire with 535 female consumers. The findings highlight the extent of the behaviour with 50% admitting to partaking in deshopping. The TPB variables can be utilised to manage and prevent deshopping. The results indicate that currently these customers perceive it to be easy to deshop as there are no consequences with the result that such behaviour continues to grow. If retailers were less myopic they would monitor returns more thoroughly and make it less easy for such customers to get away with undesirable deshopping behaviour. The paper makes recommendations for retailers to manage or alter perceived behavioural characteristics for customers, which in turn, would reduce tendencies for dishonesty in customers returning goods for refunds. Retail myopia is evident with deshopping behaviour with consequences for retailers in time, effort and costs.

Keywords: DESHOPPING; FRAUDULENT CUSTOMER RETURNS; RETAILER RETURN POLICIES; THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOUR; THEORY OF REASONED ACTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725708X273993

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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