Nearly 2 Million Returns Are Projected to Ship on National Returns Day
Record holiday sales inevitably yield one thing: record holiday returns. January 2 is considered National Returns Day, and the United Parcel Service predicts to ship 1.9 million packages this year. That is a 26% increase over last year.
Many retailers offer extended return policies during the holidays as an extra enticement for shoppers. For example, Amazon offers full-refund returns through January 31 for items shipped between November 1 and December 31. Their standard return policy is only 30 days.
As a result of these extended policies during the holidays, there is an influx of returns every year in early January. A study from the National Retail Federation and Apriss Retail revealed that returned merchandise accounts for $369 billion in lost sales each year. That is roughly 10% of total retail sales ($3.688 trillion).
Based on those statistics, Americans might be returning close to $12.6 billion worth of merchandise from the $125.5 billion spent on online holiday shopping. This does not account for the $3-$6 per package retailers lose for shipped returns. That could yield $5.7 to $11.4 million in additional losses using predictions by the United Parcel Service. In a recent survey from Splitit, 39% of respondents said that free return shipping was the most important feature in a return policy.
Fortunately for retailers, 63% of consumers prefer making returns in store. Not only does this reduce shipping losses, but it also gives retailers a chance quickly recoaup losses with new in-store sales.