U.S. online purchases over the 2020 holidays grew 32.2 percent from 2019, totaling a record $188.2 billion, according to CNBC. This surge in ecommerce activity is translating into record returns volume, once again leaving shipping carriers strained as they get overloaded with packages.
According to B-Stock, the world’s largest B2B marketplace for customer returns and overstock merchandise, it can cost twice as much to process an online return back on the shelf as it does to sell it the first time. “There are so many operational decisions that have to be made,” Marcus Shen, COO of B-Stock, said. “It requires manual touches, and many retailers are set up to sell the first time, not the second time. The second time is always a more complicated process.”