Inbound Logistics | January 2024

Consumers tend to over-indulge during holiday shopping—and that means lots of returns once the buzz wears o. Instead of antacids and ice packs, retailers find the remedy in smart reverse logistics strategies and solutions. By Karen Kroll REVERSE LOGISTICS Curing the Holiday Returns H angover

I f you made a few trips back to the mall or to your local UPS Store after the holidays to return unwanted gifts, you’re not alone. For e-commerce brands and retailers, this mass rush of returns is known as the “holiday hangover”—and it’s a doozy. In 2022, the value of items returned by consumers across the globe totaled $1.8 trillion, up nearly three-fold since 2015, according to IHL Group, a research and

advisory firm. And, IHL notes, most retailers report return rates that are outpacing revenue growth. Along with the ballooning volume, retailers and other shippers need to wrangle with the expenses they incur to process returns. On average, it costs $30 to process a $100 return, once transportation, warehousing, and other costs are considered, according to Optoro, a provider of returns solutions.

January 2024 • Inbound Logistics 137

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