Like every year, the number of retail returns will reach a critical level during the first week of January. A real logistics challenge for online retailers who look to optimise and adapt their returns service to the behaviour of consumers.
While the reselling of unwanted Christmas gifts peaks on 25th December, the tidal wave of returns arrives around one week later, just after the school holidays. This mountain of returned parcels tends to fall on the first Monday of January (the 2nd is a Tuesday this year), a day which the English-speaking world has renamed “mail back Monday”.
This phenomenon is naturally linked to the e-commerce boom (+8 billion euros in 2017), and has increased furthermore due to the lengthening of the cancellation period in the European Union from 7 to 14 days (the directive was transposed into French Law by the Loi Hamon in 2014).
Conscious of the high expectations of their connected customers, many online retailers have played ball by adapting their logistics services : 73% of online customers are prepared to increase their purchase amount on a website that offers a simplified returns service, indicated Metapack in a survey carried out last year In the same survey 69% of participants confirmed that they “check returns policies every time before ordering a product” and 51% admit having changed website upon checking returns options which they considered to be insufficient.
Longer returns policies
These figures prove that providing an end to end returns solution is not only essential, particularly in sectors such as fashion where the returns rate is the highest, but it can be a real competitive advantage in winning and retaining clients. Amazon has fully understood this and lengthened the returns policy 31st January for all items sent after 1st November 2018 (three months instead of the usual 30 days).
The types of simple and flexible returns services that customers want to be able to use require a range of solutions including dropping off at a post office, at a drop off point, in a locker, or with a pickup from home.
As a reminder Gemmalog offers solutions which help online retailers to manage their returns efficiently and guarantee a quick turn-around to ensure that the customer is reimbursed or can exchange their product as quickly as possible.
Photo : Freepik