HomeeCommerce NewsRetailers are starting to end the era of free returns: Report

Retailers are starting to end the era of free returns: Report

We have seen that the one thing that has been the catalyst in promoting the online e-commerce market is the fact that you can order something online and return it for free if you don’t like the product. While this will be the case if the product is damaged, it is also possible to return a product that is perfectly fine just because you did not like it. That is what sets things apart from buying something offline where you can’t return it after buying it. Due to this reason, people started buying things online and there is now a report which shows that online retailers have started to push back on free returns.

According to Axios, “Many retailers are fed up with paying for and processing an endless barrage of return packages, and they’re starting to charge for it. Returns surged during the height of the pandemic, when more people were shopping online. The return rate increased from 10.6% in 2020 to 16.5% in 2022, costing retailers more than $800 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. The packaging, freight and labor costs that go into returns mean processing them costs around a third of the price of the actual items, says Heidi Isern, a VP at Narvar, which makes software for retailers”.

It is also seen that the habits of customers have been changing when buying online vs offline. Axios reports that “63% of consumers said they order multiple sizes or versions of the same item, with the intention of returning what they don’t want, according to Narvar. That’s up from 55% in 2019″. It is almost as if the living room is the new fitting room as people try the clothes at their home and return what they don’t like. Axios mentions that “Retailers who have recently started charging for returns include H&M, J. Crew, Zara, and DSW” and adds that “Even Amazon — the leader of the free-returns wave — now charges for some returns”. Axios also adds that “Retailers might allow free returns in you sign up for a loyalty program, but charge less frequent customers who send items back”. It basically says that you need to order frequently and pay a price upfront to be able to return orders for free.

Alf Alferez
Alf Alferez
Dedicated writer with a strong track record of developing customer loyalty and managing general office operations. Enjoy being a part of a company where my skills and creative ideas will benefit the overall productivity of the organization. I have a strong desire to work in helping make the world a better place. Please reach out to me on alf@ecommercenext.org

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