$115bn in returns set to hit businesses

By Lauren Fruncillo January 3, 2021 - 11:30 am

It’s that time of the year that every business owner dreads and this year they can dread it even more as reports suggest consumers could be returning a staggering $115bn worth of goods that have been purchased over the festive period. It could be good news for delivery firms so long as they don’t crumble under even more pressure when dealing with yet another surge of parcels. It definitely won’t be good news for business owners who after what for many had been a hugely successful month are now being hit with returns.

Last year consumers were even getting their returns sorted on Christmas day, but with a rise in ecommerce caused by the pandemic, we can only expect a rise in returns compared to previous years and the returns could keep coming for the next several months.

Clothing hit hardest

If you sell clothing you might want to brace yourself. Businesses that sell clothing are most likely to be hit by the $115bn returns prediction, coming from consumers who have received unwanted Christmas gifts or from buyers who have bought multiple sizes to make up for not being able to try them on in a fitting room.

The process of returned goods is not as simple as it looks to the consumer. According to Optoro, it is estimated that 2.7bn kg of returned items have ended up being binned showing how this isn’t only an issue for businesses and brands but also for the environment. Dealing with returns is clearly a tricky part of ecommerce especially at this time of the year and it might be hard for a business to find a balance. Consumers are more likely to shop with companies who offer appealing returns policies and so by trying to deter returns merchants could then risk losing vital business and customers.

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