The growth of e-commerce, now almost 10 percent of retail sales, has contributed to a soaring rate of returns. Return rates of online purchases are much higher than for in-store purchases. For apparel, it’s as high as 30 percent online vs. 8 percent for store purchases.
The cost of offering free shipping on returns and processing those goods is not cheap. That’s why brick-and-mortar retailers encourage in-store returns. Shoppers like that too because there’s no wait for your money back, although Amazon credits accounts as soon as you slap on a return label.