Retail Now Able To Tackle The $90 Billion Holiday Returns Through Technology

Forbes – As holiday returns and exchanges continue to roll in, it’s likely many retailers and brands are feeling the pinch. Free shipping and returns policies — once considered a perk are now standard in the online retail industry, promoting consumer behaviors that drive up costs for retailers and negatively impact profits. And it’s only getting worse. Online sales are still only around 10% of total commerce, but are growing at a rapid pace: RBC Capital predicts online sales to account for 24 percent of total sales by 2027.

While this “no cost, no risk” way of shopping online means that returns for online retailers are skyrocketing, with 34 percent of Americans saying they will return gifts they received over the holiday season according to a new study, there seems to be little way around it. According to research from BRP, retail consulting firm, 68% of U.S. shoppers report that they would be more inclined to shop on a site that offered automated returns capability, while only 8% of retailers report offering this feature, which includes being provided return labels or having refunds triggered following the scanning of a returned package. Further, 96% would revisit a retailer for repeat business based on a good returns experience.

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