Free returns are the new consumer expectation that's gutting <b>retailers</b> | RetailTechPodcast

Free returns are the new consumer expectation that's gutting retailers

Free returns are becoming the norm for most retailers. "They're beginning to realize that free returns and free shipping is killing them." Shipping back returns costs retailers twice as much than the customer taking it back to the store themselves. According to AlixPartners, the returns process costs retailers $3 per package when customers return them to a store or up to $6 per return when shipped to a distribution center. Optoro, a firm that helps retailers optimize their returns, has found that 79% of consumers check return policies before buying products. To minimize the ultra-costly returns process, Madden said retailers are taking steps to reduce the returns in the first place. If it's not possible to offer in-store returns, Madden said retailers will consult with third-party reverse logistics firms to optimize the returns network. Read more