Returns are inherently expensive due to shipping and restocking fees, but some retailers are finding ways around those issues. In the process, they’re coming up with new strategies for building revenue streams from customer returns.
If generous return policies aren’t sustainable from a financial perspective, and restrictive return policies lead to high rates of customer churn, what’s the solution?
$70.5 billion worth of holiday purchases this year are expected to be returned, and 400 million square feet of additional warehouse space could be needed just to process those returns. For retailers already facing a deluge of products coming back into their warehouses, it could already be too late.
During the holiday season, we focus so much attention on when people buy, how much they spend, and whether it got there on time that we tend to overlook what happens once gifts are purchased. An equal test for retailers — both online and brick-and-click — will be making returns as easy as the purchase itself.