Commerce

Rampant Returns Plague E-Retailers

Published on December 23, 2013
by Shelly Banjo

Free shipping and lenient return policies have given online retailing a huge boost. Now, chains are mining their order data to get shoppers to keep more purchases.

Behind the uptick in e-commerce is a little known secret: As much as a third of all Internet sales gets returned, according to retail consultancy Kurt Salmon. And the tide of goods flowing back to retailers is rising. Shipper United Parcel Service Inc. expects returns to jump 15 percent this season from last year, making them a significant and growing cost for retailers.

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