A new survey from pure-play contract logistics provider GXO Logistics revealed a link between higher returns and increased e-commerce activity. More than one-third (36%) of surveyed respondents noted returns have increased over the past 12 months. Plus, 37% said the higher returns rate has pushed up operational costs.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of surveyed retailers are investing in their returns management processes. More than 25% also recently invested in additional warehouse space, which has become competitive in some markets.
On the consumer side, more shoppers admitted to making returns––42% said they have returned a piece of apparel online in the past 12 months. But the issue is also important to shoppers, as 57% of respondents said having a sustainable returns program is an important factor when making a purchase online.
“We’re seeing a rapid increase in outsourcing from retailers,” said Richard Cawston, president, Europe, GXO. “They want to de-risk their supply chains. They’re looking for a technologically advanced logistics partner with scale to support their e-commerce growth, including a rising need for returns management that requires specific expertise in technology to optimize inventory.”