The FINANCIAL — Wrong size, wrong color, wrong style, just simply wrong for you? With consumers breaking online shopping records, post-holiday merchandise returns and exchanges will extend the UPS holiday peak shipping season into the New Year.
National Returns Day is Jan. 6, 2016, when consumers are expected to ship more than a million packages back to retailers on that single day. By the end of the first week of January, UPS expects to deliver more than 5 million returns packages – 500,000 more than last year.
According to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study, 45% of consumers have returned an item by shipping it back to a retailer – 42% of those said they made a new online purchase during the process.
“As online shopping volumes grow globally, so do returns volumes,” said Teresa Finley, UPS senior vice president of global marketing. “Online shoppers tell us they want free, fast and easy returns. We help our customers provide flexible options that create revenue and attract potential buyers.”
Returns now play an important role in purchasing decisions as 67% of consumers said they look at a retailer’s return policy before they complete an order. Consumers also want a hassle-free returns experience: 66% want free returns shipping and 47% want an easy-to-print return label.
Additional UPS research reveals an appealing returns policy has the power to attract customers and many retailers need improvement. Only 32% of retailers offered free returns and less than half specified a merchandise exchange timeline on their website, which is a key component of the return policy that is viewed by 88% of online shoppers.
UPS offers a wide variety of returns solutions for merchants. Some retailers provide return labels within outbound shipments, while others have technology that allows them to offer a consumer credit or refund as soon as the item is scanned into the UPS network.
Consumers can drop off their pre-paid and pre-labeled return packages at any of the 8,000 UPS Access Point locations around the country. They can also visit any of the 4,500 The UPS Store® locations or give the packages to a UPS driver.