Post Christmas returns can turn any seller into Scrooge

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The post Christmas returns surge is here, costing businesses a whopping £7bn according to The Guardian.

Post Christmas returns are never easy for businesses, but consumers seem to be even more relentless this year. According to ZigZag Global returns have risen by 25% compared to last Christmas.

The early bird catches the return

This year the returns began piling in that little bit earlier. According to ZigZag at midnight on Christmas day the very first return was processed, closely followed by another 709 products within the hour! In the early hours of Christmas morning, 3.15am to be exact, one consumer was popping a return into an InPost locker and the queues of people returning goods started forming outside post offices as soon as they opened.

The digital shift caused by the pandemic has been fantastic for ecommerce, but unfortunately adds to the reasons why returns are so high. The journey of a parcel, no matter how fast or slow still lacks a certain physical buying experience that means a buyer sees the product before purchase.

Keeping on top of returns

Christmas will always result in unwanted gifts whether online or not, but businesses can look at ways to prepare for this and importantly stay on top of their returns to avoid their customer metrics taking a hit.

Undoubtably, there will be returns caused by things out of a seller’s control, but businesses can consider what they can control to better manage the dreaded returns process.

Keeping an eye on changes in consumer habits and trends will help businesses determine where and why buyers are returning certain products. Ensuring product listings are high quality and accurate, implementing sizing tools for clothing, providing great customer service, and providing a great shipping service are just some of the things to consider and if all else fails, you can review your returns process and look at how changing the way you process returned products could benefit your business.

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