January 6th is a pseudo National Holiday on the calendar called National Returns Day. It is better known as Return-Ageddon to many of us. This is the day of returns “hell” for all.

Since you may still be knee-deep in returns, hopefully not eyeball deep, here are few key points to consider. According to a few studies, it’s not yet time to take your head out of the clouds, but it might be a good time to be clever and start managing your products and returns more efficiently for the next Return-Ageddon.

In a combined online shopping study by UPS and comScore, “Empowered Consumers Changing the Future of Retail,” they discovered key insights into the returns process.

“67% review a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, 66% want free return shipping, 58% want a hassle-free “no questions asked” return policy, and 47% want an easy-to-print return label.”

With most consumers close to or more than half demanding free returns, an easy-to-print label, and hassle-free shipping, it is vital for retailers to persevere with a robust all-in-one system. When you are choosing an order management software, it may be beneficial to keep these things in mind or say hello to the chaos of Return-Ageddon once again. Online shipping returns vs. at the physical store showed even more cause for concern.return ageddon, managing online returns

“70% purchase an additional item when making an in-store return, compared to 42% who make a new purchase while processing an online return.”-UPS
Online Shopping Study

So, what does this mean for you the customer? The Retailer? The e-tailer?Determining whether the product was returned online or in store is crucial to view in an efficient order management system. Along with that, comes return codes, shipping charges, bin sorting and more.

According to NRF, total merchandise returns amounted to $260.5 billion in 2015, with $63 billion from holiday sales. Wait, roughly 25% of the $260.5 billion in returns happen during the holidays. How many pieces and/or items is that? And, it does not stop there…Return fraud also proves to be a tremendous part of the problem.

“Annual merchandise return fraud and abuse is estimated between $9.1 and $15.9 billion for the U.S. retail industry.”-NRF Study

nrf study

Yes, you are reading that red print on the chart right…the estimated amount of fraudulent returns is close to the annual revenue of the NFL.

Retailers will constantly be searching for new ways to make returns easier.

So, What’s Your 2016 Return-Ageddon Resolution (R.A.R.)?

Check out the list below to see if you are in a serious need of a R.A.R within your current order management system.

-Where are you returns processed?

-How do you handle returns?

-Where exactly are your items returned?

-How long does it take for a return to be processes and do you offer store credit?

-How long until the customer receives credit back? What if it was a gift card purchase?

-Was it purchased online or in store?

-Are you utilizing omnichannel returns?

-Are you prepared to sort out return bins and charge for shipping?

-What are the reason codes available to you?

-Do you have both the customer and supplier side ready?

If you don’t know how to answer two or more these, or if you are just unsure or unhappy, you seriously need to start 2016 with a new R.A.R.

Schedule a live demo, and have one of your New Year’s Resolutions actually stick, so that you’re in a better spot this time next year.

Be like this guy drinking a fuzzy drink from a coconut on a beach, who can relax knowing his returns are in control, not some guy reading a blog like this, in two feet of snow, drinking cold coffee.

guy on a beach

Questions or concerns? Use the comment section below to let us know how your returns went and/or how we can help you prepare for Return-Ageddon’s dreaded visit next year…