Do the math on what that means for returns….

While the retail apocalypse rages on for brick and mortar stores, research shows that online sales are booming: volume is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% over the next decade and, based on this rate, U.S. online retail sales are expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2027.

As reported in Chain Store Age, will account for over half of U.S. online sales by 2027 (that’s a 46% increase from today), while online sales will represent 22% of total U.S. retail sales, an 80% increase from today. Considering most Americans already shop online, future growth will come from 1) consumers using the medium to purchase more frequently and 2) access to more product categories online.

Online grocery, for example, is expected to grow five fold over the next decade, commanding a 20% share; or reaching over $100 million annually by 2025. To put it in perspective: 2016 online sales were the equivalent of 764 grocery stores, but by 2025, the share could be nearly 3,900.

So what does this mean for returns? Grocery, apparel or otherwise.

We know that the growth rate for returns will mirror the ecommerce growth rate, due in part to customer expectations of incredibly easy return policies, like In-store Returns in 30 Seconds. Just as online retailers will shift strategies and offerings to appeal to changing consumer behavior, the same thinking must be applied to how retailers manage returns. Reverse logistics programs will have to keep pace if they want to remain competitive. This includes how retailers manage the last mile of their reverse logistics programs: the liquidation of returned and excess goods.

Nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers – including the world’s largest ecommerce company – are currently using B-Stock’s automated liquidation solution to make more money for their returned and excess merchandise. What’s more, as the amount of returns rises, our platform can handle the uptick in merchandise without sacrificing the velocity in which it’s sold. This is across all categories, including grocery.

But don’t take our word for it, check out some of our client success stories:

Holiday returns are on the horizon, learn how to better tackle them by watching our webinar.
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