Getting Out from Under All Those Ecommerce Returns

ERIC MORIARTY | June 1, 2018

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With ecommerce sales expected to top $1 trillion by 2027 according to FTI Consulting, it’s only a matter of time before online sales capture a hefty share of total retail sales, up from around 9% currently.But as any merchant knows, the spike in online purchases brings an inevitable rise in ecommerce returns. Buyer’s remorse plays a large role, as does the propensity to order two or three sizes or styles and send back the rest.It’s also exacerbated by retailers’ efforts to remain competitive through relaxed and easy return policies. From pop-up kiosks at the mall for items purchased online to year-long windows, third-party apps, and label-free returns, options abound. But what amounts to a happy return for the customer is a logistical and financial nightmare for the retailer. This forces companies to rethink processes for offsetting the loss, both pre- and post-return. The most desirable option for doing this is to prevent ecommerce returns from happening in the first place.

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