According to the 2017 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper
, Holiday returns and different return policies affect the supply chain in many ways. 79 percent of online shoppers considered free returns shipping as an important factor when deciding to purchase from an online retailer. 81 percent of survey respondents indicated that they were less likely to make additional purchases on websites that charge to process returns. It’s not just brick and mortar retails that suffer the holiday gift returns. Eligible items and those ignored by holiday shoppers until the final day allowed by the return policy, holiday returns cost both retailers and consumers real money and result in real-world inventory management challenges. 70 percent of respondents indicated their belief that their returns volumes would increase as sales continue to advance. In 2016, there were over $885 billion dollars in sales during the November and December holiday season in the US and Canada. Returned merchandise that is sold at discounted rates or outright disposed of cost retailers 4.4% of total revenue annually if the retailer’s operation is not optimized to process the reverse flow of inventory. 61 percent reported abandoning their cart due to the extra cost of shipping and other fees as well as unsatisfactory returns and other factors. $70 billion dollars for retailers alone (at an 8% returned goods rate), returns equated to nearly $70 billion dollars. Studies at Baymard Institute reveal that nearly 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned before transactions are processed successfully.
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