The shift to end free returns has gained significant traction across the retail industry in recent years. With the apparent frictions of e-commerce on the rise, retailers are seeking to limit costs as inflation grows across the globe.
While this change has been frustrating for customers, its equally as frustrating for retailers who have to provide the labor to ship and inspect items, and put them back up for sale. These online returns could be avoided completely with brick-and-mortar stores – which serve as a hub for shoppers to experience products in-person. The ability to feel fabrics and try them on gives consumers the ability to know if they like an item right off the bat, without feeling the need for returns.
This may be the beginning of the end for free returns. However, this begs the question – will more follow? Will we see this same initiative throughout US markets?
While we may see a decrease in online returns in the future, we predict there will be an evident increase in brick-and-mortar stores to continue to emphasize the importance of in-store shopping and lower the number of returns completely.