You must be familiar with the National Retail Federation (NRF), an association that conducts research, organizes events and represents the interests of retailers. They recently published a report on consumer returns in the retail industry providing important statistics about returns. From the total percentage of returns to the percentage of return frauds, it talks about how managing returns is still one of the biggest challenges for retailers.
In 2023, the retail industry witnessed a staggering $743 billion in returned merchandise. The complex balance between customer satisfaction and the financial impact of returns is made evident by this study. The NRF explores details as retailers navigate through this complex journey in partnership with Appriss Retail.
An Overview of the Retail Returns Industry
Since overall returns make up a sizable portion of the retail sector, it is clear that returns represent more than just a minor aspect.
The fact that fraud accounts for 13.7% of returns highlights a negative aspect of this relationship. The retail industry has serious concerns following the $101 billion loss resulting from return abuse and fraud in 2023.
An effective solution is required to deal with these issues and protect the financial stability of brands.
Rising issues in the returns process
The returns process, once a routine aspect of shopping, is now facing rising challenges that directly impact both customers and retailers. Fraud cases, in which people take advantage of return policies for their own benefit, are increasing.
The problem is made worse by the manual work (hours) required to handle returns, which frustrates and delays customers as well as businesses. Using Excel sheets and other documents is a big hassle while processing returns. Imagine a scenario in which a customer's refund becomes caught in a maze of paperwork, leading to an extended wait duration.
The combined effects of these problems cause merchants to lose a significant amount of revenue, as the $743 billion in returns for 2023 demonstrate.
The recent data from retailers shows that return fraud is a major issue, with "Wardrobing" and the return of stolen items as the top problems. Other significant concerns include deceitful returns and fraud involving employees or forged documents. Some merchants also face return issues not captured by common categories, indicating a wide-ranging problem that demands comprehensive countermeasures.
In-Store, Online and Boris Returns
The majority of returns (17.6%) are purchased online and returned online, showing the importance of having a proper online returns solution.
Buy Online, Return In-Store (BORIS) returns allow customers to make purchases online and then return the items to a physical store. This approach is often implemented by retailers as a way to provide customers with flexibility and convenience in managing their purchases and returns.
Holiday Sales, Returns and Fraud
Retailers predict lower return rates as the holidays get near, with a projected percentage of 15.4%. But a concerning pattern appears as abusive and fraudulent returns are predicted to increase and account for 16.5% of returns.
In navigating this challenge, returns management software becomes an important tool for merchants. By streamlining, ensuring efficiency and simplifying the returns process, brands can boost their revenue and avoid fraud cases. This software helps merchants handle returns with transparency, reduce the risk of abuse, and restrict returns during the demanding holiday season.
How can retailers tackle this?
Although handling fraudulent returns or returns in general is a big hassle, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent fraudulent returns and automate eligible requests.
Chase revenue; not time
Manual returns take a minimum of 4-5 days to process, that’s enough time to lose a customer’s interest and loyalty. From replying to each customer on the Email/WhatsApp individually to going through tons of dashboards to process each request, you are spending a lot of your crucial time which can be used to grow the brand and not manage returns.
How ReturnX saves your time and money.
Our innovative returns automation app solves all your brand’s return issues. ReturnX makes sure that brand owners aren’t buried in a pile of manual work, spending hours processing emails and paperwork. With a lot of integration within the app it simplifies the entire process automating every step.
Now, your brand can satisfy your customers in one click! (Literally)
Monitor your returns
According to Shopify’s Report on eCommerce Returns, 81% of customers say that the product was either damaged or defective.
There are various other reasons for returning the product that the retailer should be well aware of. By tracking the return orders and the reasons for the return, brands can improve their customer experience and reduce the risk of losing customers.
How ReturnX helps to monitor your returns.
By using ReturnX, merchants can precisely monitor every stage of the returns process since they have real-time visibility into it. We offer merchants a central dashboard where they can track and analyze return data from the moment a return request is made until it is finally resolved, and also analyze the reason for the return request. This helps the merchant understand the cause of returns and improve accordingly. See how?
NRF shows that fraudulent returns are a rising concern for retailers today. With $101 B of the total returns being fraud, all brands wish to find a solution and save their brand from loss.
How ReturnX prevents fraudulent returns.
ReturnX is a firm protector against the approaching risk of fraud returns. With quality check and fraud detection features, it protects your brand from losing millions!
ReturnX gives retailers the ability to lower risks, cut losses, and boost trust in their returns management by smoothly adding these features into the returns process. This creates a barrier against the negative effects of returns fraud in the eCommerce environment. Eliminate frauds
Customer retention and loyalty
Retaining and growing a loyal customer base is vital for a successful business.
92% of the customers will shop again if the returns process is easy. This shows that customer loyalty is largely affected by your brand’s returns process. A smoother and easier returns process will gain more customer satisfaction.
How we help
ReturnX converts possible challenges into opportunities for increased customer satisfaction by automating the returns process. The speed and transparency of the platform not only helps to quickly address problems but also build loyalty and trust. ReturnX understands the importance of customer loyalty and ensures the same for its customers.
The detailed study from the NRF highlights the issues and patterns that influence the retail sector. It points out the importance of having an efficient returns management solution.
ReturnX's broad set of features not only solves these issues but also transforms into a valuable strategic partner for retailers, cutting down on return periods, preventing fraud, and improving customer satisfaction.