Return to e-sender: e-commerce returns hit a peak of 1.5m packages today

Consumers who went online shopping in the days before Black Friday are expected to begin returning more than 1m packages each day in December, peaking today (19th) at 1.5m packages.
National Returns Day is expected to occur prior to Christmas, reflecting "just how deeply e-commerce is reshaping the retail universe," according to US parcel giant UPS.
The spike, said UPS, is driven by “self-gifting due to retailer promotions, express shipping for deliveries and returns, simplified returns processes and advanced re-stocking and management systems”.
In past years, National Returns Day occurred in early January and represented the highest spike of packages for the entire year. 
Added UPS: “Returns are still expected to hit 1.3m packages on January 3, but this will now represent the second wave and be outpaced by December 19 returns of 1.5m. These returns are included in the 800m packages UPS anticipates delivering this holiday season."
UPS chief marketing officer Kevin Warren said: ”UPS understands the essential and evolving role that package returns play in e-commerce. As a result, UPS has helped our customers get ahead of the curve with a portfolio of technology-driven returns services.
“We help retailers deliver a premium experience that manages the cost of the returns process while meeting the needs of today’s discerning consumer.”   
Research continues to show that to succeed in e-commerce retailers must offer comprehensive returns services. UPS’ Pulse of the Online Shopper study found that:   
•75% of consumers have shipped returns back to the retailer;
•79% of e-commerce shoppers surveyed said free shipping on returns is important when selecting an online retailer;
•Top elements of a great returns experience include an easy-to-return online experience and a no-questions-asked policy.
Optoro, a technology company that helps retailers and brands optimize their returned and excess inventory, found that 97% of consumers are more likely to buy something again from a retailer with which they had a positive returns experience.
Conversely, the research found that 89% of customers will not shop again at a retailer or brand with which they had a negative returns experience.
“Leading retailers and brands understand that the returns moment is an increasingly important time to drive future customer loyalty and engagement,” said Tobin Moore, co-founder and chief executive of Washington-based Optoro.

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