Boomerang Thursday: the busiest day for parcel returns in 2011

Posted on 01/12/2011 by Marketing

CollectPlus has warned retailers to expect a surge in returned goods following ‘Mega Monday’ as online shoppers rush to secure replacement gifts before Christmas.

CollectPlus conducted research showing that one in ten (10%)1 festive gifts bought online last year were returned before Christmas. Due to this we forecast that over two million parcels will be returned this week, with the peak day set to be 1st December, dubbed ‘Boomerang Thursday’.

The next five weeks are set to be one of the busiest periods for returns, following significant growth in online retail, which is predicted to hit £7.75bn in the five shopping weeks in December, according to the IMRG, the UK’s industry association for e-retail.

A 15% increase in parcel return volumes is expected during the week, thanks to increasingly high levels of consumer confidence in the returns process. Today, over one in three (37%) online shoppers are fully confident of receiving replacement gifts in time for Christmas, just three weeks out from the big day. Conversely, less than a fifth (17%) would request a refund and buy the gift elsewhere for fear of not receiving the replacement in time.

Mark Lewis, CEO of CollectPlus, comments:

“Despite the tough economic conditions, we’re still expecting a bumper Christmas for online retailers. Throughout 2011, the commercial benefits that a clear and efficient returns service can bring, has increasingly become clear to retailers. However, with customers staying loyal to those that make this area a focus, it is important that this is sustained throughout the festive period. More and more consumers are becoming confident in the ease of use of services such as Click & CollectPlus and with a greater number of retailers recognising this, we see it as a growth area as we move into the new year.”

Thanks to CollectPlus’ innovative parcel tracking system, which sees returns scanned immediately when dropped off in a store, retailers this year will have better and earlier visibility of the volume of goods being returned, allowing more effective warehouse and stock management to ensure availability for shoppers in the run up to Christmas.

David J Smith, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at IMRG, commented:

“The peak pre-Christmas online shopping period is now fully underway; we are estimating that £3.72bn will be spent during this week and the next, as online continues to increase in popularity among consumers. One of the most important considerations to consumers when purchasing online is how convenient the fulfilment options are. Our own research found that 46.5% of online shoppers are influenced on their choice of retailer by the delivery service provided. This is why services such as that provided by CollectPlus are so valuable to the industry, providing the consumer with that choice and convenience that can greatly improve the experience.”

[1]  Figures taken from research carried out by Opinium on behalf of CollectPlus. 2000 online consumers were polled in November 2011

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