Chronic returners - a threat to both business and the environment?

Chronic returners - a threat to both business and the environment?

Each year, we send back around 2.267.961.850 kilograms in online store returns, and most of it, even barely used goods, might just end up pilling up in a landfill, polluting the environment and representing huge losses to businesses themselves. Shopify has predicted that returns will cost around 550 billion USD to e-retailers in 2020.  Online store returns are creating a  threat to both companies and the environment.

But why do so many products end up on landfills like they were trash? 

Well, the answer is quite simple: many online retailers don't have the process to restore returned items back to sales. For example: a pair of shoes that were returned because they did not fit but were not used should not end up in the garbage, unlike a ripped t-shirt, for which probably the best option is just to dispose of it instead of placing it back into the storage facility.

Return policies have been backing up clients for a long time now, almost always granting the right to return products free of charge. This has encouraged a negative behavior in customers creating a chronic returners.

Studies show that around 40% of customers are now willing to buy an extra color or size, just to make up their minds and return the one they like the least. Less than half of the returned goods are re-sold at full price, which translates into businesses losing 10% of sales! And the worst part? 84% of those products end up in a landfill or incinerator. 

This behavior represents extra expense and logistics problems for companies and is a serious issue for the environment itself, not only because of all those products ending up in the trash or being burnt, but also because brands and companies are producing more because of those they lost.

We at OGOship take these matters seriously. We are not only focused on keeping our clients' profits and logistics standards as high as possible, but we also take into consideration all of the environmental subjects with the respect and importance they deserve. 

With OGOship services, we also offer a smart return process, in which all customer returns are received back into storage; then our specialist will check the current state of the product and decide whether it will go back to shelves to be sold. If the product is actually broken or damaged, we'll make sure that it won't be sold again to avoid future returns of the same product, thus avoiding extra expenses from further returns.

Issues related to the environment will keep growing. In the end, it's a noble cause that challenges us all to continuously improve our business methods while increasing our awareness of a problems. With OGOship you can be sure that all online store returns will be handled with eco consciousness.

Read also BBC Earth posting: Your brand new returns end up in landfill