Return to Sender

Consumers are returning more products than ever. Is your brand prepared for the deluge?

Check out our daily podcast:
🎧 Listen • 󠀠  Subscribe 󠀠 • 📈 Advertise

Follow Us: TikTok, Threads, more
Follow Tod: Mastodon, Threads, more 

ADVERTISE: Reach 2,654 marketers for as low as $5! [more]

In Today's Issue

E-Commerce • Product Returns are Way Up

A strange new trend appears to have emerged over the holiday season and it’s not great for people who sell physical products online.

A new report by Coldwell Banker and Optoro sheds light on a growing challenge: returns. With e-commerce sales expected to hit between about $275 billion this year, returns are predicted to account for a staggering $82 billion. This marks a substantial increase from previous years.

Retailers are feeling the impact.

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 have revised their return policies

  • 44% have increased return and restocking fees

  • 40% have expanded return drop-off locations

The cost of returns has skyrocketed by 50% compared to 2018, now averaging 27% of the purchase price. This rise is significant enough to potentially halve a product's sales margin.

But there's more than just financial cost.

The report highlights an environmental concern: returned goods contribute about 9.5 billion pounds of waste to landfills annually.

Retailers are adapting to these challenges. Companies like H&M and Amazon have modified their return policies, often incorporating fees.

Has your brand seen increased product returns from your customers?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Veroneus NewsletterA Newsletter Focused on Effective AI-Powered Marketing Strategies and Prompting Techniques.

Shipping • Do Consumers Care About Next-Day?

So while returns spike, and online retailers obsess over service improvements like returns and same-day vs next-day delivery, turns out those latter options may not be as valued by consumers as expected.

A recent Forrester report found that while 75% of U.S. online shoppers prioritize free shipping, only 20% consider next-day or same-day delivery crucial in their shopping decisions.

Surprisingly, 47% stated that same-day delivery doesn't influence their choice of retailer or brand at all.

Instead, Forrester highlights more cost-effective alternatives like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and drive-thru options. These services are gaining interest, with 22% of consumers now opt to pick up in store, 27% prefer curbside pickup.

Despite these findings, major retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Amazon continue to enhance their same-day delivery capabilities. Amazon, in particular, has attributed its success in this area to investments in regional operations and an increase in same-day delivery facilities.

Overall, delivery times have improved, with the average time from order placement to final delivery now around four days.

Snapchat • Partnership to Bring TV Insights

To social media now, and Snapchat — which this week announced a new measurement partnership with Samba TV. This should give Snap’s advertisers in the entertainment sector a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of their in-app campaigns.

Samba has some impressive reach into most of the major TV platforms’ 'walled gardens', — they claim to be connected to 48 million smart TV devices, which lets them tie activity to free-to-air, cable, and streaming content.

This partnership takes effect from today, and Snap's advertising partners will soon have access to these enhanced measurement tools.

Marketing Services You Should Know About

  • Are your brand's social media channels overwhelming your team? We can help. EngageQ is North America's leading engagement and moderation agency. We'll praise fans, answer questions, upsell products, hide nasty comments, escalate issues, and more. 20% discount:

  • Book your own ad now for only $5

Exclusive in-issue content
 No ads at the top of issues
20+ marketing science interviews
 15% discount on advertising

Exclusive members Slack channel
Regular livestreams with Tod
 30% off our Premium podcast
 Discounts on marketing tools
Support the work Tod & team does

ADVERTISE: Reach 2,654 marketers for as low as $5! [more]

Upgrade Your Media Buying Skills:

Tools We Use and Recommend:

Some links in this newsletter may provide affiliate revenue to us.

Join the conversation

or to participate.