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The Silver Lining in Product Returns

Online retailers experience nearly twice the return rates of brick-and-mortar retailers, and with ecommerce growing faster than offline sales, that provides both a challenge and an opportunity for merchants, according to Rob Caskey, Vice President of Marketing and Direct Sales for Liquidity Services’ Retail Supply Chain Group, which includes the Liquidation.com and Secondipity.com marketplaces.

Caskey says consumers are demanding more from retailers of all sizes when it comes to returns. “Many retailers have adapted to meet customer expectations including free shipping on returns or an extended number of days that a consumer can return an item. However, many retailers have refused to budge on return policies as returning items is a costly endeavor for retailers.”

When larger retailers loosen their restrictive return policies, it makes it more difficult for smaller retailers to compete. “In spite of this,” Caskey said, “many smaller merchants are hoping to tap customer loyalty and looking at other ways to enhance the customer experience. Many smaller merchants simply cannot afford to be more flexible with their return policies.”


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