Failed Christmas deliveries to cause £464.9m of returns in January

Figures show

Despite a record breaking number of online sales made during the 2017 festive season, orders that weren’t delivered on time over Christmas will continue to present a returns headache for retailers well into January, new research by Sorted, the delivery experience company, reveals.

Original research of 2,000 UK shoppers in the new Coming Together: The Blueprint for Collaborative Commerce Report from Sorted shows that, even after Take Back Tuesday – the first working day of the New Year (2nd Jan) when gift return volumes double on the daily average – returns caused by failed Christmas deliveries will cause an estimated £464.9m of returns in January. 

This, the report warns, will not only impact retailers’ already squeezed margins during a time when they enter the January discounting period, but will also have a significant ‘returns ripple effect’.  20 per cent of shoppers who send back one item due to late delivery will also return the rest of their entire basket, exacerbating the volume of returns retailers are having to process after the festive period further. 

David Grimes, founder and CEO at Sorted, commented: “As well as the ‘returns ripple’, which sees entire online order baskets being returned as opposed to the single time dependent Christmas gift, the impact on customer lifetime value also needs to be considered.  Expectations around ease and speed of returns reach fever pitch during the festive period, and turning a negative delivery experience into a positive returns experience can make or break whether a customer comes back.” 

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