Post-holiday e-commerce returns are expected to be at their highest level in history this year. Shipping company UPS said it expects to process 1.9 million returns today alone—its peak day for returns. That figure is an increase of 26 percent over last year’s holiday season returns, the seventh year in a row returns have set a record.
Ease of return is now a competitive advantage for online merchants. That’s because research finds an easy and seamless return experience is a factor that impacts how likely a buyer is to return to do repeat business with an online merchant.
“Now, consumers make purchases with returns in mind, and, according to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study, 73 percent of online shoppers say the returns experience affects their likelihood to buy from a retailer again,” UPS said in a press release.
Another study from the National Retail Federation finds 55 percent of online consumers plan to return or exchange any unwanted gifts within a month of receiving them.