Staples Stores Will Offer Contactless Returns

Staples Stores Will Offer Contactless Returns
Staples' Express Returns program, scheduled to roll out in early 2021, enables convenient in-store returns for online consumers.

More than 1,000 Staples stores will serve as contactless return drop-off points, according to Optoro, the company providing the technology.

The Express Returns program, scheduled to roll out in early 2021, enables convenient in-store returns for online consumers across the United States, Optoro said. The offering will also allow retailers to seamlessly process their own in-store returns using a QR code, allowing customers to skip the line and providing a safer experience for associates.

Because online purchases can have three to five times the return rates of brick-and-mortar purchases, according to Optoro, retailers anticipate record return rates this holiday season. Optoro’s Express Returns offering will enable both e-commerce and omnichannel retailers to instantly and safely accept returns at drop-off points in stores across the country. According to Optoro’s research, 66% of consumers prefer to return goods to stores.

“During COVID-19, e-commerce shopping has sharply increased, which in turn leads to a significant rise in returns,” said Adam Vitarello, president and co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Optoro. “As retailers head into peak shopping season around the holidays, we’re excited to roll out our new Express Returns offering to allow retailers to deliver an excellent customer experience during a pivotal time. We’ve found that 97% of consumers are likely to shop with a retailer again following a positive returns experience, and the stakes this year are higher than ever.”

In addition to the nationwide drop-off network, Express Returns will also feature QR code technology from San Francisco-based Returnly that enables retailers to offer safe, fast contactless returns both at their own stores and within the drop-off network. Shoppers will receive a QR code and return drop-off instructions via an online returns portal. They then can simply bring the code and return to one of the 1,000-plus Staples stores or a retailer’s brick-and-mortar location. They don't need to print a label or package the return.

“Through this partnership with Optoro, Staples Stores are able to provide safe, contactless return options so customers at 1,000 locations can spend less time on the go and more time at home with family this holiday season,” said Craig Grayson, VP/GMM, print and marketing Services, Staples U.S. Retail at the Framingham, Massachusetts-based office supply retailer. “The integration of Express Returns will alleviate the stress consumers often face when looking for an easy and efficient way to return products.”

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