UPS Anticipates Holiday Returns
With a record number of consumers shopping online for the holidays, post-holiday returns and exchanges will keep UPS (NYSE: UPS) busy right through the new year. UPS National Returns Day is Jan. 6, 2015, when the company expects consumers will ship more than 800,000 packages back to retailers and merchants. By the end of the first full week in January, UPS anticipates transporting 4 million return packages in the United States.
“We have successfully completed two of three phases of the Peak holiday delivery season. Our Cyber Weekend and pre-Christmas performance helped retailers take advantage of holiday demand. We are now preparing for a surge in volume driven by Returns Week beginning next Monday,” said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
“As e-commerce continues to grow, simple returns services have become an essential part of the overall consumer shopping experience. Our research shows online shoppers care about returns convenience with 66% reviewing a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, and 68% said they would complete an online purchase if the retailer simply offered a free return shipping label,” he said.
According to the 2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study, returns are on the rise with 62% of consumers stating they returned an item bought online in 2014, compared to 51% in 2012.
UPS is improving its locator tool available on ups.com or the UPS App for iPhone and Android smartphones to help consumers find the most convenient location to drop off returns.
To help retailers provide a simple returns experience for consumers, unwanted holiday items can be dropped off at any of the 4,400 The UPS Store locations where employees can assist with packing and shipping. Shoppers can also place their pre-paid ground or air returns into any of the 38,000 UPS Drop Boxes.
Consumers living in New York and Chicago also can drop off pre-labeled and pre-paid packages at a nearby UPS Access Point location. These local small businesses such as cafes, boutiques, grocery and convenience stores, are open late in the evening and on weekends.
Currently, there are 300 UPS Access Point locations in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and 100 locations throughout the Chicago area.