Customers Have More Return Options Than Ever This Year

The influx of shoppers in the days leading up to Christmas quickly turn into long lines of people wanting to return products once the big day has passed. This year’s strong holiday shopping season is likely to see a healthy number of returns, and retailers are offering customers more options than ever for getting the task done.

Online shopping has taken off in recent years, and retailers are doing their best to make returns convenient. Whether it’s through in-store kiosks, at-home pickup, or grocery stores, returning products is far less of a hassle than it used to be.

For example, Amazon is allowing people to make in-person returns at a network of “lockers” that is 2,000 locations strong – 400 of which can be found inside Whole Foods stores. It’s simply a matter of finding the location and dropping off the unwanted items. Amazon has also joined forces with Kohl’s to allow people to return goods bought from Amazon online to Los Angeles and Chicago-area Kohl’s stores.

Walmart, meanwhile, has set up a series of Mobile Express Returns kiosks inside stores, where customers can return products in under five minutes and get their refund by the next day. Walmart and Target alike are allowing customers to return goods in stores or print shipping labels online and send them back for free from designated shipping locations.

In-Store Returns Save Retailers Money

Now that most major retailers are able to compete with Amazon on shipping to some extent, returns are essentially the new “battleground” among the various online retailers, with companies striving to make the process as easy as possible. This is especially important when you consider the fact that some experts estimate that items bought online are three times more likely to be returned as those bought in stores.

In-store returns are ideal for retailers as they cost around half as much to process as those that are mailed back and can be resold far sooner. In addition, customers will sometimes buy additional items when they return unwanted gifts to stores.

This blog post was based off of an article from The Wall Street Journal. View the original here.

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