Third of retailers see increase in online returns

More than a third (36 per cent) of retailers say online returns have increased, according to new data.

A survey of 4,000 consumers and 360 retailers in the UK, US, France and Spain for contract logistics provider GXO Logistics found that the increase on e-commerce sales have generated returns-related challenges for retailers in the past 12 months.

The survey found that 42 per cent of consumer have return a piece of apparel they purchased online in the last year.

As a result, 37 per cent of retailers said that returns have increased their operational costs, while more than a quarter of retailers have invested in recently in additional warehouse space.

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of retailers said they are investing in their returns management process to cope with increased demand.

The survey also showed that returns were important for customer engagement and and loyalty, with more than half (57 per cent) saying that having a sustainable returns program is an important factor when making a purchase online.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Cawston, president for Europe at GXO, said: "We're seeing a rapid increase in outsourcing from retailers. They want to de-risk their supply chains. They're looking for a technologically advanced logistics partner with scale to support their e-commerce growth, including a rising need for returns management that requires specific expertise in technology to optimize inventory."

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