Today is being hailed as “Boomerang Wednesday” as consumers return products bought on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, delivery service CollectPlus has said.
The company forecasts a 30% jump in returns volumes today after reporting a 25% increase in parcel return volumes in the same week on Thursday in 2013. With the growing significance of Black Friday, it predicted that returns will peak a day earlier this year, but that is set to continue into Thursday December 4 as customers return items bought on Cyber Monday.
The study revealed that almost one in three of the items they buy online this Christmas will be returned. Customers spend an average of 52 minutes each returning unwanted online purchases over the festive season, costing the UK economy almost £505m in lost hours.
Last-minute orders are likely to be boosted this year because Christmas is on a Thursday. “You’ve got that full week before the big day, and the increasing reliability of fulfilment services means that consumers have more trust and confidence in retailers and carriers to deliver the goods,” said CollectPlus chief executive Neil Ashworth.
However, he emphasised that the biggest delivery growth areas are not premium or last-minute services but economy and click-and-collect. “Premium is growing in the low single digits but the growth is in the free services and what you’d probably call the slightly slower services because customers don’t want to pay for delivery,” said Ashworth.
Managing the returns process is also a key element to developing the online delivery process. “What we find is that more than 27% walk away without buying anything when retailers charge to return,” he added.