U.S. Re­tail Sees $369B in Re­turns

In a new re­port by Ap­priss Re­tail, the ef­fects of U. S. con­sumer mer­chan­dise re­turns means job loss, fraud and for re­tail­ers — op­por­tu­nity.

WWD Digital Daily - - In Focus: Technology - BY KA­LEY ROSHITSH

Nearly $369 bil­lion in re­turns are im­pact­ing the U.S. re­tail in­dus­try, not in­clud­ing the cost of over­head, and some of that re­turn al­lot­ment is by way of fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity.

The re­port by Ap­priss Re­tail, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence-fueled re­tail per­for­mance im­prove­ment so­lu­tions provider, an­a­lyzes the re­sults of the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion’s 2018 Or­ga­nized Re­tail Crime sur­vey. In­di­cat­ing an over­all value of $369 bil­lion in re­turned mer­chan­dise in the past year in the U.S.,

$18 bil­lion to $24 bil­lion of that sum were fraud­u­lent re­turns.

Buy on­line and re­turn in-store is one dom­i­nant method, which is un­der­cut­ting re­tail­ers with a 38 per­cent in­crease in on­line pur­chases re­turned to brick-and-mor­tar lo­ca­tions. Oth­er­wise known as “re­turn fraud,” re­tail­ers aren’t the sole vic­tim — as the re­port in­di­cates, Amer­i­can work­ers are sub­ject to re­turn fraud and abuse costs with an es­ti­mated 607,400 and 789,600 jobs ex­pended as a re­sult. De­tail­ing job loss as well as losses in sales taxes, the re­port in­cludes a state-by-state break­down for fur­ther anal­y­sis.

In­un­dated with choice and privy to on­line shop­ping, con­sumers ex­pect the right to change their minds, lead­ing to the up­swing in re­turned goods. The aim of this re­port is to high­light how re­tail­ers can view re­turns as a “cus­tomer ser­vice mo­ment that it can be,” ac­cord­ing to Kr­ish­nan Sas­try, pres­i­dent of Ap­priss Re­tail.

With re­fram­ing re­turns as a mo­ment of redemption, re­tail­ers can have “last­ing im­pact on its re­la­tion­ship with the con­sumer.”

The re­port breaks down con­sumer re­turns in theU.S. for 2018.

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