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January 6th Is National Returns Day – Not a Time to Celebrate

UPS has designated January 6, 2016, National Returns Day when it expects customers to ship more than a million packages back to retailers on that day alone. Not exactly a holiday for merchants to celebrate.

By the end of the first week of January, UPS expects to deliver more than 5 million returns packages, which is 500,000 more than last year. And UPS wants to be the shipper of choice, noting that it offers a wide variety of returns solutions for merchants. “Some retailers provide return labels within outbound shipments, while others have technology that allows them to offer a consumer credit or refund as soon as the item is scanned into the UPS network,” it said.

UPS also provided some data showing that of the 45% of customers who have returned an item by shipping it back to a retailer, 42% of them made a new online purchase during the process.

It said 67% of consumers look at a retailer’s return policy before they complete an order. 66% want free returns shipping and 47% want an easy-to-print return label.

UPS also found that 32% of retailers offered free returns and less than half specified a merchandise exchange timeline on their website, “a key component of the return policy that is viewed by 88% of online shoppers,” it noted.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.