The happy days of serial returners are coming to an end as major retail companies intend to curb high volumes of returns that are hurting their profits.

After Amazon announced in May this year that it’s banning customers who habitually return items bought from its website, 61% of US retailers have decided to follow suit, according to a new report by ERP solutions provider Brightpearl.

WalmartThe likes of Walmart, Costco and Target have restructured their returns policy and started monitoring how often their customers return items. This makes it easier for them to detect a habitual returner and impose a ban.

The report also revealed that 42% of US-based retailers have seen more serial returners ranging from ages 18 to 34 in the last 12 months.

Most of them are bloggers who buy stuff for selfie purposes and then send the items back once they’re finished taking and posting pictures of it on Instagram.

The benefits of banning serial returners

Retailers believe that imposing lifetime bans on customers who abuse their return policies will save them time and money, plus improve their margins.

In addition to that, 21% of US retailers said it will eventually lead to a reduction in return rates.

However, Brightpearl found that despite the determination of retailers to end the excruciating cycle of returns, many of them are incapable of identifying chronic returners.

It appears that only Amazon has the technology to succeed in this challenge as 69% of firms don’t have the resources to manage their returns.

“Amazon are only able to innovate their returns strategy because of previous investments in technology that allow them to track and identify those who return frequently. However, what is imperative is having technology solutions in place that centralize returns data. This provides the ability to track, monitor and understand all “serial returners.” – Scott Hill, Vice President of Product, Brightpearl

Do you think this proposition will reduce retailers’ return rate and reform serial returners? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or over in our Facebook Group.

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