Free returns have expired and not just for its cost

One L and one M shirt. One M dress and one L. Clic. Total: Four items in the basket. to buy. Online sales have soared with the spread of Covid-19 and with it, so have returns. Getting multiple clothes to get the right size is “free” for a Zara, Primark or Sheinn consumer.

The category that generates the most revenue is apparel, footwear and accessoriessince nearly half of internet users who buy online (48%) report that they have returned one of these products at some time,” reveals Report ‘online shopping in Spain’. 2021 version Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

The The kings and queens of returns be Consumers between the ages of 35 and 44 years Old, according to the Setelm Observatory. The study led by Nadia Calvino’s department polishes it further: Women with a high level of studies.

With over a decade in Spanish streets, E-commerce has maturedBut he didn’t forget the levers that got him going at first.

Free Express Shipping, Free Returns, Free Parcel Delivery are additives, increasingly, Weight in the income statement Businesses are also leaving their mark on their sustainable roadmap.

Fingers have been caught since then Made without any kind of standard assume high cost Both for e-commerce businesses and the environment,” explains Christian Castillo, Professor of Economics and Business Studies Logistics expert from UOC.

The culture of “not everything is urgent” has reached some delivery companies Like the post office. Emissions from delivery trucks have focused the debate on mobility in large cities. Now, it’s time to go back.

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Managing customer returns is a real headache for many e-commerce platforms,” says Castillo. Companies don’t only think about express delivery So that they do not bother their customers, but also consider how to do it “Refund” for returned products.

This is how the so-called reverse logistics is formed, which facilitates the creation of selective collection channels for products or services. “It can account for up to 4% of the sales volume of an online store like Zara or Amazon.”

The Return to the store, set up a collection point or take it to the parcel center. These are some of the options that online stores offer their customers, but they all have one thing in common: zero euros.

Existing return policies need to changeCastillo warns that free and unlimited returns should have their days numbered “.” Right “has an expiration date. For several months, Amazon has integrated technology to monitor returning friends.”This is a way to reduce the problem and educate customers and to clean up their clients’ portfolio,” explains Castillo.

According to a study by Optoro, in the United States alone, revenue transmission generates more than 15 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the same as three million cars a year.

Environmental expense added to cash expensesBecause “transportation costs are usually twice the costs of delivery, plus managing logistics,” he adds. It is compensation sought by Zara in nearly thirty countries.

In the ancient continent, for example, it is already in effect Germany, UK and Ireland, among other things. In these countries, The fee is approximately €2 per return. A measure based on its sustainability report.

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Amazonfor this part, It monitors the accounts with the highest revenue that restrict access to their online shopping platform. An idea that Asos raised in 2019 among its customers but has yet to take off.

“If only one company follows this policy, it is very likely that consumers will penalize them by not buying their products”reveal the castle. Alert that is reflected in customer satisfaction surveys and statistics, where they mention it Eight out of ten (84%) online shoppers turn their back on the retailer after a bad experience during the return. With nearly half of the clothing and fashion items returned, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the question remains, what happens to those returned dresses and shirts? “If the returned product is of low value, it has double benefit for the company: On the one hand, savings in transportation costs and the management of returns, which do not compensate for the fact of returning the product, and on the other hand, the undoubted satisfaction of the customer, which is presented with a gift and is also freed from having to manage the return “, answers Neus Soler, Professor Associate in Economics and Business Studies at UOC.

In other cases, products are stored in industrial warehouses owned by companies. “Large e-commerce platforms have rethought this management; thus, once the product is returned, the products that cannot be put up for sale are sold again, rather than destroyed, through a secondary channel in which the buyer accepts that the product is a return and may not be in perfect condition.” Castillo says.

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finally, If they do not find an outlet in the secondary ducts, usually the final destination of return clothes is landfill. These new return policies It must be accompanied by regulatory rules. management,” he says.

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