It’s been a year Super Bowl of Returns, GoTRG CEO Sender Shamis says this company helps retailers process returns. Generally, the flow of products to eBay’s businesses continues throughout the year. However, he says, “This year, it never stopped.”
Already struggling to deliver one with shipping companies Gift orders crush For the holidays, a flood of returns can create a reverse logistic nightmare. Once the carriers return the goods to warehouses, the products should be inspected, cleaned and then sold when appropriate. To overcome the pressure of return off facilities, stores are making changes to their return policies this year.
“Many retailers are expanding their return windows to expand retail traffic,” says Jim Hull, senior director of industry strategy for retail at Blue Yonder, a digital supply chain platform. In many cases, that gives consumers until the end of January to decide whether to return an item. Extended time not only helps with social disturbances in stores, but can slow the flow of packages going back to warehouses via mail.
In addition to adopting a longer return window, retailers are getting more creative about how to accept returns, such as using curbside or pickup at home. “Customers have a lot of options,” says Pramod Iyer, assistant director of marketing Middle Tennessee State University.
To smooth the return process and minimize contact with others, consider using one or more of the following strategies:
- Return via mail to avoid contact.
- Choose the correct time to return to the store.
- Use curbside return if available.
Return via mail to avoid contact
For those who want to reduce their risk of COVID-19, sending them back to retailers is the safest way.
“Almost all national retailers will accept online returns for in-store purchases,” says Sarah Engel, chief marketing officer for January Digital, a digital consultancy. To facilitate these returns, Engel recommended everyone include a gift receipt with the gift. It is also helpful in keeping the original packaging.
Since every shop handles its returns differently, see retailer website for this Details on their process. Some will provide a postage payment label, while others may require the consumer to absorb shipping costs. Depending on the item, you may require prior authorization for a withdrawal and a restocking fee may be evaluated. When in doubt, call or chat with a customer service representative for assistance.
Select the correct time to return to the store
Given the logistics of the returning item through the mail, getting back in person can be easy for both you and the retailer. “If you can, return (gift) to a store,” Shamis says.
In-person returns may be more likely to be accepted without receipt, and stores may offer multiple reimbursement options such as cash, store credit, or product exchange. With in-person returns, the process can be performed on a single day, and there is no risk of mail being delayed or packaged incorrectly.
Visiting the store for returns carries the risk of standing in a crowded line, but Iyer says the stores have not seen the same traffic this year. To reduce your chances of finding yourself in a busy store, wait until January so you can make your returns. “Ideally, if the customer wants to be safe, go on the second or third week of January or on a weekday,” Iyer suggests.
Use curbside return if available
Since spring, retailers have worked to develop ways to create approx. Contactless experience For shopkeepers. “Many major brands have detected curbside pickups,” Engel says. Now, some are expanding to offer curbside returns as well.
Nordstrom and Dick’s Sporting Goods are two examples of stores offering this option. Consumers usually start online returns at home and then go to the store with the item. A colleague removes it from the vehicle and then processes the return. Only certain items and purchases, such as with a debit or Credit Card, May be eligible for this type of return.
“Many retailers today do not offer this, but from a customer service point of view, it seems like the next development,” says Hull. However, only time will tell if more stores will accept this option even after the COVID-19 epidemic ends.