While online shopping boomed over the Christmas period, with a reported £728m worth of ecommerce purchases made on Christmas Day alone*, Mail Back Monday (4 January) will see over 980,000 parcels returned, according to Clear Returns, a retail returns specialist.
Vicky Brock, CEO of Clear Returns, warns could cause retailers a festive hangover which lasts well into the New Year: “We’ve seen unprecedented levels of online shopping over the Christmas period , with internet spend dominating how consumers made their gift purchases for many retailers. However, with online shopping in particular, consumers buy first and choose later.
“While on the surface the online tills have been perceived to be ringing over Christmas, what retailers must remember is a ‘sale’ is only a sale when a customer decides to keep an item. If the customers’ expectations do not meet the product once it is delivered, they will send it back. And this is exacerbated by online shopping, as consumers rely on images and product descriptions, without being able to physically touch and feel the product or try it on, in the case of fashion buys.”
“Indeed, returns from the Christmas period will continue to be a pain point for retailers well into January. Our data shows that up to 10% of all refunds for the year will hit UK retailers between Boxing Day and late January in some categories.”
“We estimate that over 980,000 parcels will be returned on Mail Back Monday (4 January). With most retailers now offering free returns, this means further loss of margins – not only do they pay for the item to be sent back, but once it the refunded product is processed, it re-enters the store during the January sales at a marked down price, causing even more profit to be lost.”
* Experian / IMRG