This year’s holiday returns of unwanted gifts mean a huge gift for UPS and FedEx. The companies estimate to make returns worth of as much as $90 billion this holiday season.
The figure accounts for one quarter of total returns worldwide as more and more shoppers do their purchases online. UPS and FedEx have been battling each other to gain a larger share of the returns business pie as online retailers offer friendlier return policies.
Returns can take a heavy toll on retailer’s businesses as e-commerce grows. Experts recommend to reduce the empty space in packages too large for the shipped items. The extra space can add up to a large sum when there are too many returns.
Being able to return is now a competitive tool,
said Accenture consulting expert Bruce Cohen.
Currently, shoppers would rather shop online but have their unwanted items returned to brick-and-mortar stores. Around 15 percent of all goods end up as returns. In the case of apparel, the return rate is even higher – around 50%.
UPS and FedEx Eyeing Holiday Returns
UPS and FedEx are competing to gain a larger share of deliveries and returns, by opening more drop-off sites. Many retailers including Kohl’s announced they’d allow returns at their brick-and-mortar shops even for purchases made on Amazon.
FedEx’s pick up locations can be found in drugstores and supermarkets. For instance, you can find one such location in nearly all Walgreens drugstores and in some of Albertson’s and Kroger stores.
UPS who runs the Access Point network, boasts more than 25,000 drop-off locations. You can find one such site even in small local businesses like hardware stores.
Making drop-off locations readily available to customers can trim costs as the companies can make significant savings from fuel and labor as packages no longer are retrieved door-to-door.
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