UPS Predicts 1.9M Returns on Jan. 2

UPS Predicts 1.9M Returns on Jan. 2

Credit: William Grimes
Source:, December 2019

Dive Brief:

  • UPS expects to process 1.9 million returns on Jan. 2, up 26% year over year, according to a company press release.
  • The increase marks a seventh-consecutive record, thereby “illustrating how e-commerce continues transforming shopping patterns,” the company said.
  • Consumers can take UPS returns to UPS’ drop boxes, Store locations, Access Point locations or to its fleet of delivery drivers, who can directly receive a return package with a label, per the release.

Dive Insight:

Logistics providers and retailers are bracing themselves for a flood of returns at the start of 2020.

A study conducted by Oracle Retail stated that 77% of consumers plan to return a portion of their gifts this holiday season, with 65% returning in store and 32% anticipating a return via mail. And the ease — or friction — behind that process can directly impact how shoppers feel about retailers. A UPS “Pulse of the Online Shopper Study” revealed that 73% of online shoppers say the returns experience impacts their likelihood to purchase from a retailer again.

“For retailers, a seamless returns process is essential to keeping and growing business,” Kevin Warren, UPS chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

However, retailers and consumers seem to be at a disconnect regarding the ease of returns overall. A separate Oracle survey revealed that 57% of consumers say returns are a hassle or could be easier, while 57% of retailers said returning products is “very easy.”

To deal with the influx, both logistics providers and retailers are looking to creative solutions to streamline services. Through a partnership, Kohl’s this year decided to accept Amazon returns in its stores. UPS completed a rollout of UPS Access Points to over 1,000 Michael’s stores and partnered with Advanced Auto Parts and CVS Pharmacy locations. FedEx and Dollar General partnered to offer in-store package pickup and drop-off at 8,000 Dollar General locations.

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