Returns Management Software Statistics 2024


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In the ever-evolving world of commerce, returns management has become an integral component of business strategy, particularly as e-commerce continues to surge. Effective returns management software in 2024 holds the potential not only to streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction but also to provide critical insights into consumer behavior and operational efficiency. Analyzing the latest statistics on returns management software is crucial for understanding trends, challenges, and opportunities within the business landscape.

Stakeholders across the supply chain—from retailers and logistics providers to software developers and financial analysts—stand to gain valuable insights from this data. Retailers can identify patterns that influence return rates, while logistics companies can optimize their processes to reduce costs and improve service quality. Software developers can leverage this information to innovate and enhance their product offerings, ensuring they meet the needs of a dynamic market. Financial analysts can use these statistics to forecast industry growth and identify potential investment opportunities.

By providing a comprehensive overview of the returns management software market in 2024, this article aims to equip industry professionals with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions. Understanding these statistics enables stakeholders to develop strategies that enhance operational efficiency, drive customer satisfaction, and ultimately, maintain competitive advantage in a rapidly changing environment.

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Top Returns Management Software Statistics 2024

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Consumer Behavior And Preferences

  • 92% of respondents say a brand’s returns policy sways their purchase decisions [?].
  • 62% of shoppers are unlikely to shop with a retailer that provides a poor returns experience [1].
  • 78% of shoppers have had to return their purchases [1].
  • 54% of consumers return online orders less than 10% of the time [1].
  • 70% of consumers report having returned an item because it didn’t fit [7].
  • 65% of consumers return items due to damage or defects [7].
  • 58% of consumers purchase products in multiple sizes and return items that don’t fit [7].
  • 67% of shoppers check the returns policy before making a purchase [9].
  • 92% of consumers will buy again from a retailer if the return process is easy [9].
  • 79% of people want to return an item without paying shipping costs [13].
  • 44% of consumers prefer returning products through the carrier by mail [7].
  • 62% of consumers are more likely to shop online if they can return an item to a store [14].
  • 74% of consumers would shop more with a retailer if they offered free returns [9].
  • 88% of shoppers who have a good returns experience are likely to buy again [9].
  • 49% of retailers report that their margins are negatively impacted by returns [9].
  • 41% of online shoppers buy items with the intent of returning some of them [14].
  • 30% of online shoppers intentionally overbuy and return the items they don’t need [11].
  • 79% of consumers want free return shipping [13].
  • 47% of people appreciate that the return label is easy to print [13].
  • 58% of consumers want a no-questions-asked returns policy that provides a hassle-free experience for them [11].

Environmental Impact

  • Returns in the US alone generate 15 million tons of carbon emissions and five billion lbs of landfill waste every year [1].
  • Return shipments in the US generate over 5 billion pounds of waste annually [9].
  • The return shipping in the US causes more than 33 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually [23].
  • Damaged goods ending up in landfills are estimated to be more than 5 billion pounds [23].

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Return Rates And Statistics

  • The average rate of return is 16.5%, though it may be higher or lower depending on the industry [1].
  • The ecommerce return rates vary between 5% to 25% based on the product category [2].
  • In 2022, the total number of people ages 14 and older who returned items purchased online grew just 0.9% to 108.6 million [10].
  • Totally, consumers returned $816 billion in merchandise in 2022, up 7.2% YoY [7].
  • 20% of consumers are more likely to return products they purchased online as opposed to in-store purchases [7].
  • Nearly 46% of North American retailers achieved double-digit annual retail revenue growth in FY2021 [3].
  • Clothing topped the charts at 26% of most returned online purchases in the US in 2022 [1].
  • 33% of shoppers have returned items due to size and fit issues, the top reason behind product returns [1].

Fraud And Losses

  • 10.8% of online retail sales returns and 10.3% of in-store retail returns are fraudulent [7].
  • 26% of all returned online sales to brick-and-mortar locations are fraudulent [7].
  • States lost an estimated $4.74 billion in sales tax to retail return fraud [7].
  • Annual fraudulent retail returns cost the State of Alabama and its retailers a combined $1.36 billion [7].
  • The scope of the return fraud problem becomes clear when you consider that nearly 11% ($22.8 billion) of those returns were fraudulent [16].

Industry Practices And Trends

  • The vast majority of retailers (81%) still do not have a strategic returns program in place [1].
  • 360-degree images for products like furniture or electronics allow customers to view the item from every angle [2].
  • The average duration for refunds varies from 1 to 14 business days [2].
  • 44% of retailers plan to hire more staff specifically to handle holiday returns [7].
  • More than 70% of organizations fall short of their digital transformation objectives [12].
  • 40% of organizations today are not pursuing more solutions to streamline supply chain processes [19].
  • The number of warehouses in the US has increased 6.8% over the past five years [19].
  • 27% of consumers would purchase an item that costs more than $1,000 if offered free returns [9].
  • 84% of online shoppers in the UK will not purchase from a retailer again after a bad returns experience [11].

Operational Costs And Efficiency

  • Retailers spent an average of 8.1% of their annual sales managing returns in 2020 [9].
  • Retail returns cost the State of Alabama $392 million less in lost sales tax compared to the average state [7].
  • The automated process significantly reduces time, taking it down from 36 hours to a mere 4 hours [6].
  • The home improvement sector turns over its inventory 4 times per quarter [4].
  • Retailers using AI/ML solutions achieved a sales growth of 2.3x and a profit growth of 2.5x compared to competitors not using the technology [24].

Consumer Preferences On Return Methods

  • 52% of consumers return items because they didn’t fit [26].
  • 37% of consumers return items because the wrong item was sent [26].
  • 87% of consumers who overbuy online do so with apparel to try things on at home and return what they don’t want [26].

Regional And Global Trends

  • North America saw 79 companies in the top 250, providing a 47.9% share of global retail revenue [3].
  • Europe provided 90 companies to the top 250 retailers in the world, providing 33.2% to the top 250 in terms of total revenue share [3].
  • The Global Powers of Retailing report looks at the different regions and analyzes retail performance of the Top 250 retailers by region [3].
  • The fastest-growing retailer in the Latin America region was Mexican department store El Puerto de Liverpool, which grew in year-on-year retail revenue by 35.5% [3].
  • In 2024, nearly 50% of shoppers will begin holiday shopping in September to lock in deals and avoid the holiday rush [21].

Technology And Automation

  • Retailers plan to spend $7 billion on AI-enabled tools in 2024, with this number growing to almost $30 billion by 2028 [28].
  • The integration of AI-enabled supply chain management software yields remarkable improvements across logistics costs (15%), inventory levels (35%), and service levels (65%) [17].
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of Q3 2020, there were 1,045,422 retail establishments in the United States, up 4,801 versus Q2 2020 [5].
  • More than 60% of consumers reported that they prefer using automated self-service options rather than contacting a sales rep or customer care representative [18].

Strategic Insights

  • Having a return rate lower than 10% is generally considered positive, while having a return rate over 60% is not considered good for business at all [11].
  • A good example of this value is that upselling to existing customers can be 5 to 10 times cheaper than acquiring a new customer [15].
  • The average inventory accuracy threshold for retail operations is just 63% [19].
  • More than 70% of retailers adopting AI saw a decrease in operating costs [24].

Consumer Expectations And Behavior

  • Consumers are 3-4X more likely to return items bought online than products purchased in-store [1].
  • 96% of online shoppers say they’d shop again with a retailer depending on whether they provided an easy return experience [18].
  • 58% of consumers want a hassle-free no-questions-asked return policy [11].
  • 66% of Gen Z still live at home with their parents, contributing to their higher spending power [29].
  • 30% of online shoppers actively seek ways to overspend and return the products they do not want [22].

Economic And Market Projections

  • According to the Mastercard Economics Institute, easing inflation means American consumers can maintain their strong purchasing power and continue spending in 2024 [20].
  • Retail media will be the fastest-growing ad channel in the US in 2024, rising 26.0% to reach nearly $55 billion in ad spend [21].
  • Total retail sales for the 2024 holiday season will reach $1.372 trillion, growing 4.8% YoY [21].
  • The global ecommerce market is projected to grow to $8.1 trillion by 2026 [25].
  • The National Retail Federation forecasts retail sales will increase in 2024 between 2.5% and 3.5% to between $5.23 trillion and $5.28 trillion [5].

Key Factors In Returns Management

  • Identify the top 5 performing stores based on revenue and customer footfall over the last six months [6].
  • Navigating the challenge of product returns: 6 common causes and prevention strategies [8].
  • The most common returned merchandise are apparel and shoes with a return rate of 30%-35% [19].
  • Factors making returns difficult for online shoppers include lack of a clear returns policy and slow processing times [27].
  • The average return rate for Amazon is between 15% and 5% [11].

Also Read

Sources

  1. parcellab – https://parcellab.com/blog/ecommerce-returns-management-industry-overview-challenges-and-best-practices/
  2. wismolabs – https://wismolabs.com/ecommerce-returns-management/
  3. deloitte – https://www.deloitte.com/global/en/Industries/consumer/analysis/retail-across-the-world.html
  4. retalon – https://retalon.com/blog/retail-industry-performance-metrics-kpis
  5. nrf – http://nrf.com/research-insights/state-retail
  6. leewayhertz – https://www.leewayhertz.com/store-performance-analysis-and-kpi-tracking-using-ai/
  7. capitaloneshopping – https://capitaloneshopping.com/research/average-retail-return-rate/
  8. reclaimit – https://reclaimit.com/blog/5-key-factors-to-consider-when-choosing-a-return-management-system
  9. wifitalents – https://wifitalents.com/statistic/ecommerce-return/
  10. emarketer – https://www.emarketer.com/press-releases/retail-returns-will-surpass-620-billion-in-2023/
  11. meteorspace – https://www.meteorspace.com/2022/08/25/latest-returns-statistics-that-may-surprise-you/
  12. canidium – https://canidium.com/blog/solving-software-adoption-problem
  13. shippypro – https://www.blog.shippypro.com/en/20-ecommerce-returns-statistics-to-guide-your-reverse-logistics
  14. gitnux – https://gitnux.org/ecommerce-return-statistics/
  15. userpilot – https://userpilot.com/blog/product-adoption-saas/
  16. forbes – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2023/10/03/total-cost-of-online-returns-breaks-200-billion-can-retail-afford-it/
  17. supplychainbrain – https://www.supplychainbrain.com/blogs/1-think-tank/post/37851-from-prevention-to-prediction-revolutionizing-returns-management-in-retail
  18. wesupplylabs – https://wesupplylabs.com/how-to-choose-the-best-returns-management-software/
  19. gotrg – https://www.gotrg.com/resources/blog/mastering-ecommerce-33-vital-statistics-for-reverse-logistics-returns-management
  20. mastercardservices – https://www.mastercardservices.com/en/industries/retail/insights/retail-industry-trends-2024
  21. emarketer – https://www.emarketer.com/insights/future-retail-trends-industry-forecast/
  22. ecommercefastlane – https://ecommercefastlane.com/7-ecommerce-returns-statistics-that-will-blow-your-mind/
  23. infosysbpm – https://www.infosysbpm.com/blogs/finance-accounting/returns-management-what-are-the-six-hidden-costs-of-returns.html
  24. explodingtopics – https://explodingtopics.com/blog/retail-trends
  25. hootsuite – https://blog.hootsuite.com/retails-trends/
  26. chainstoreage – https://chainstoreage.com/survey-online-return-rate-three-times-higher-store-rate
  27. statista – https://www.statista.com/topics/10716/e-commerce-returns-in-the-united-states/
  28. clarkstonconsulting – https://clarkstonconsulting.com/insights/2024-retail-industry-trends/
  29. gwi – https://blog.gwi.com/marketing/retail-trends/

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