Retail returns causing a dilemma

A headline from the beginning of the year in CNBC screams out “A $761 billion dilemma: Retailers’ returns jump as online sales grow.” The epidemic has aided in the growth of online commerce, among other things. Many of us purchase numerous of our necessities from online retailers and marketplaces. However, shopping for ourselves is one thing; shopping for a gift for someone else is quite another. Gifting incorrectly can contribute considerably to merchants’ high return costs.

When we shop for ourselves, for example, clothing, we mostly know what we need and want. A T-shirt, shoes, a handbag or some nice jacket. We know the size that we wear, the color that we want, and (if shopping online) to which address needs to be shipped. 

But what if you’re looking for a gift for a friend or family member? You may have an idea of what color sweatshirt, purse, or shoe they prefer, but do you know what size or color they require? Do you have their address for shipping? It can be extremely stressful to shop for others. What happens if you make a mistake? A poor decision that necessitates a trip to the retailer or shipping service location by the recipient might add to the high cost of returns.

According to the National Retail Federation and Appriss, retail returns climbed by 16.6% on average in 2021 compared to 10.6% in 2020, resulting in more than $761 billion in items expected to be returned to stores and warehouses. 

According to the National Retail Federation, online sales accounted for $1.050 trillion in total U.S. retail sales in 2021, with $218 billion in returns

One way to avoid high retail returns is to offer your customers gift cards. Why? As said, when a person is not sure what to buy for someone, what size of clothes they wear or which color they like, the best thing is to give them a “neutral” option. Gift cards are the perfect tool to create added value for everybody involved: gift givers and recipients, shopping centers and retailers, shops, cafes, restaurants, and other multi-location businesses.