National Returns Day: The Numbers

January 3, 2019

The spending season may be winding down, but e-commerce activity is still high. That’s right we are talking about returns and in particular National Returns Day. This is the unofficial e-commerce holiday, which was founded by delivery carrier UPS. National Returns Day marks the yearly peak in e-commerce returns, which has traditionally been in early January. However this year things went a little differently…

Spending habits have shifted

For the first time National Returns Day was before Christmas, on the 19th of December 2018 to be exact. This represents a huge shift in e-commerce spending habits, as retail holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday encourage shoppers to spend more earlier. Returns will peak again in early January. So, this post is coming to you when e-commerce returns are at their second highest point.

Returns in numbers

So, just how many returns are there on National Returns Day? Well according to UPS on the 19th December they processed 1.5 million returns… and they are only one carrier! 1.3 million returns were processed on the previous National Returns Day, so the number of returns is 15% higher than the previous spike.

On the lead up to Christmas UPS processed 1 million returns every day. We may as well just refer to December as National Returns Month!

Today – 3rd of January 2019 – marks the second spike in returns. Today, UPS will process 1.3 million returns.

Customers and returns

Returns happen in e-commerce and they can be the biggest pain point for online shoppers. A negative returns experience can be very disheartening and seeing as there is so much choice available, a customer who has had a bad returns experience is unlikely to shop at the same webshop again.

So, what makes a good returns experience? Well, 44% of online shoppers stated that the biggest issue they have with returns is paying for return shipping, so free returns is an excellent start!

79% of online shoppers state that free return delivery is important to them when they are deciding which online retailer to make their purchase with (UPS Pulse of the online shopper). This highlights the fact that many online shoppers check an etailer’s returns policy before completing their online purchase.

Paazl and returns

The delivery solution from Paazl ensures that e-commerce brands provide their customers with a smooth returns experience. To find out more, request a personalised demo from one of our delivery experts, and ensure that you are offering your customers friction-less returns in 2019.

For more returns insights, you may find our complete guide to e-commerce returns in Europe blog post useful.

Source: UPS Press Release.

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