It’s no secret that returns are a costly burden on retailers every holiday season. Last year, according to the National Retail Federation, $761 billion of merchandise was returned, accounting for a whopping 17 percent of all total purchases. On average, the whole return process costs retailers roughly $15 per item and typically only resells for 60 or 70 percent of the original value of the product.
Part of what makes the returns ecosystem so challenging for retailers is that gracious shipping and return policies have become an expectation for consumers. Ray Wimer, assistant professor of retail practice at Syracuse, told USA Today: “Most consumers expect free shipping … and a lot of consumers expect free returns as well.” Unfortunately, such policies just aren’t feasible at the moment and according to the logistics company goTRG, six out of ten retailers have changed their return policies over the last year. Strategies to lessen the burden that returns pose include shortening the return period, charging fees or making customers cover the cost of return shipping.
In other news, Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that Tesla will be officially bringing the Steam gaming service to its latest Model X and Model S cars as a part of a holiday update. Now Tesla owners will have access to the platform’s library of more than 7,000 games.
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