US: returns excellence is top priority for retailers as processing time decreases - report

Tuesday 27 January 2015 00:41 CET | News

US merchants focus more on returns excellence services, as the average time for processing returns of online purchases decreased from 10.6 days to 9.5 days between Q4 2013 and Q4 2014.

Moreover, 73% of consumers expected ecommerce returns to be processed in seven days or less whereas 39% wanted it done in three days or less, according to data from the information and measurement company StellaService,

Companies which stress returns excellence services include Amazon (returns processed in 2.1 days in 2014; 1.3 days in Q4), Wayfair (3 days in 2014; 3.4 days in Q4), HP (3.4 days in 2014; 4.7 days in Q4) and Apple (5 days in 2014; 4.9 days in Q4). Apple was a new addition to the list in 2014, the result of adding expedited return labels in late 2013.

Additionally, 60% of the 40 retailers surveyed always provided a prepaid return label, including those who charge for the label as well as those who do not include the label in the box itself. 25% of the retailers always provide free returns, either via a label in the box or by requiring the customer to print it out. These companies included Apple, Dell, Gap, Neiman Marcus, Nike, Nordstrom, Sephora, Target, Walmart and Zappos. Amazon, Wayfair and HP issue refunds before items arrive in the warehouse.

In 2014 Amazon started offering instant refunds, giving customers 30 days to get the item back in the mail. Dell climbed from an average of 11.5 days per return in Q4 2013 to an average of 6.4 days in Q4 2014. In December 2014, Dell issued two refunds before items arrived back at the warehouse. JC Penney rose from an average of 13.4 days per return in Q4 2013 to 5.3 days in Q4 2014. Staples rose from an average of 9.2 days per return in Q4 2013 to 6.2 days in Q4 2014.

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Keywords: US, returns excellence, retailers, processing time, decrease, merchants, Customers
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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