UPS anticipates a record-breaking returns season after the holidays
On the heels of a record-breaking holiday shopping season, United Parcel Service is anticipating a record number of shipped returns.
UPS said Thursday that it expects to process 1.9 million return packages on Jan. 2, what the shipper calls “National Returns Day,” when it expects peak gift returns. That’s up 26% from a year ago. The returns would mark a seventh-consecutive annual record as consumers increasingly shift from shopping in-store to online.
“This process is a change from years past, when consumers would rush to physical retailers the day after Christmas and stand in long lines to make returns,” UPS said in a press release.
Nowadays, consumers shop with returns in mind, a UPS study found. And 73% of shoppers say their experience making returns affects their likelihood to buy from a retailer again. The National Retail Federation said more than half (55%) of shoppers plan to return or exchange any unwanted gifts within a month of receiving them.
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In the weeks leading up to Christmas, e-commerce sales hit a record high in the U.S., according to a report from Mastercard released Thursday.
It found clothing, accessories and electronics to be the primary drivers behind the e-commerce boom with specialty apparel sales jumping 17%. Jewelry sales increased 8.8% and electrics sales grew 10.7% over last year.
Amazon, with its flexible customer return policy, was a favorite among online shoppers. The company said the holiday season was one for the record books, and its top-sellers included the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick and Echo Show 5.
Tiffany & Co. also reported an uptick in sales over the holiday season after being rocked by the U.S. trade war with China.