Until now, we have focused on shopping and sales. Looking at the behavior of consumers and the tactics of firms. For example, see Holiday 2019 Revenues Expected to Reach $1 Trillion. Ready-Set – Shop. And One Tactic Will Drive a Lot of Holiday Shopping. Now, we consider handling holiday returns. Which is becoming more and more complex.

Related posts include:


A 2019 Look at Handling Holiday Returns

Due to the rapid growth of online shopping, returns take on greater importance. As a result, both customers and companies must plan differently than before.

In the following discussion, we cover online shopping. Why? Because the customer returns involve more players in the supply chain.

According to Lucy Koch, writing for eMarketer:

“UPS anticipates a surge of returns this holiday season. Leading into the new year. According to the company, 1.6 million packages are expected to be returned daily the week of December 16 leading into Christmas. And a record-breaking 1.9 million returns are expected to take place on this year’s peak returns day — January 2 — up 26% over last year.”

“’As E-commerce retailers continue to provide more return-friendly policies, shoppers are buying and returning more online than ever before,’ said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst. ‘While the post-Christmas frenzy is to be expected, the fact that Hanukkah falls so late in December this year means that returns will be extra-concentrated in late December and early January.’”

Here are two eMarketer charts on holiday returns. 

Handling Holiday Returns

Handling Holiday Returns

4 Replies to “Handling Holiday Returns”

  1. I think that perhaps an increase in returns is attributable to the fact that Thanksgiving was so late this year. Many consumers might feel the need to “buy buy buy” because there is a short amount of time until they will be giving the gift.

    Additionally, I thought it was interesting that 30% of returns are because of damages. I feel that many companies often worry about getting their products to consumers quickly and cheaply that they neglect to properly package their product. I believe they should spend a little more on packaging as they wouldn’t have to replace nearly as many products as a result of poor packaging.

  2. It’s interesting to see that 30% of products that are returned are damaged or faulty – I think since brands offer free ground shipping after a specific threshold, more customers take advantage of the free shipping option. Ground shipping isn’t always the best and packages tend to get banged up by the time they are delivered. I have never been comfortable with purchasing things online, simply because I hate going through returns.

  3. Although the article lists reasons for returns.However, I think the most important reason not listed is impulse spending. Many consumers will be due to the impact of the holiday and other factors, stimulate their desire to buy.However, their actual economic capacity does not allow it. Therefore, there will be a much higher return ratio than normal after consumption. Impuse spending may not be included as an option in the questionnaire.

  4. The most appealing point for me in this article is the reasons why customers return items.
    27% of them think the product is not as described and 27% of them return it because of the poor quality.
    Thees two main reasons take more than half of the respondents. I think the quality of products is still an issue which should be paid more attention by retailers.

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