Ecommerce is seeing an explosion of online returns this year compared to last year, according to goTRG, and this Saturday, December 26, may be the busiest day for returns for the second year in a row, according to Returnly.
Sender Shamiss, CEO of goTRG, said ecommerce holiday returns are up 76% year-over-year, while in-store holiday returns are down 19.4%.
Returnly data showed shoppers started the returns process online on December 26, 2019 and were shipping back their unwanted gifts on January 2nd, which UPS designated National Returns Day. Returnly predicts December 26 will be the top returns day for the second consecutive year.
Returnly also expects to see the biggest, longest return season yet, in part because of COVID disrupting the back-to-the-office routines one would typically see following Christmas.
goTRG’s Shamiss said the increase in online shopping and with retailers incentivizing sales with more flexible shipping and online returns policies, “what we’ll end up with is a huge clog in the physical carrier transportation networks because of the increase in volume of ecommerce returns this year.”
Returnly also noted the strain on logistics, saying it led to a shift in sellers’ choice of carrier. “More merchants are moving away from USPS ahead of the holiday season in preparation for shipping capacity strains and the holiday price increases. Between August-October 2020, Returnly saw USPS usage drop from 45% to 38% with merchants moving to UPS and FedEx.”
The strain on shipping capacity and the delay in getting merchandise back on the shelf means more retailers will be stuck discounting their winter coats and seasonal products once they finally get the products back in hand, according to Returnly.