UPS (United Parcel Service), the American multinational package delivery and supply chain management company, reported that it is expecting to process an unprecedented 1.9 million returns on January 2, 2020. “National Returns Day” is considered a peak day for returns. This was an increase of 26% from the previous year.

It is the seventh year in a row that returns have hit an all-time record high. The success of UPS is down to its offerings of both convenience and transparency in its return process. This process benefits both retailers and consumers.

In years past, consumers hurried back to brick and mortar stores the day after Christmas and endured long lines to make returns. UPS has eradicated this hassle by providing both retailers and consumers the tools they need to make the returns process more flexible, transparent and profitable.

“A seamless return process” is an undisputed requirement for businesses today to not only survive but to keep growing.

UPS makes things easy for US consumers to take their returns by offering:

  • More than 36,000 UPS drop boxes for smaller packages with labels.
  • UPS delivery drivers can receive a return package with a label.
  • There are more than 4,800 The UPS Store® locations which can help with full-service packing, shipping, and returns.

Retailers benefit from the UPS returns process through:

  • UPS Returns® Manager – This service allows shippers of all sizes to create and manage returns policies, as well as designate the return destination.
  • UPS Print Return Labels – can be used in outbound shipments to facilitate the returns process.
  • UPS Returns® Plus – The merchant can send a driver to deliver a return label and pick up the return package from any address.

As e-Commerce continues to transform consumer shopping patterns, the “ease of return” is without a doubt considered a competitive advantage for online businesses. It has been found that an easy and frictionless return experience is a defining factor in determining whether or not a consumer will do repeat business with an online merchant.

According to the UPS Pulse Of the Online Shopper study, consumers now make purchases with the return policies being top of mind. It went on to report that 73% of online shoppers said the return experience is what ultimately affects their likelihood to buy from that online retailer again.

The National Retail Federation reported that more than half of shoppers surveyed (55 percent), said they will return or exchange holiday items or unwanted gifts within the first month of receiving them. This pattern is not expected to go away.

So What’s next?

As e-commerce continues to grow and see “double-digit gains”, consumers want the ease and convenience of online shopping to co-exist equally with hassle-free online returns.  UPS has mastered this feat in unprecedented ways.

Small and mid-sized online merchants will undoubtedly see a surge in growth and revenue if they take the steps to adopt this competitive advantage as well.

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