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Ecommerce Returns in 2023: 4 Ways the Landscape Will Change

Ecommerce returns are a crucial part of the customer experience, and as the industry continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see significant changes in the way that returns are handled in the coming years. Here are four ways that ecommerce returns will likely change in 2023:


1. Increased Use of Automation

As artificial intelligence and machine learning become more advanced, we can expect to see a greater use of automation in the returns process. This could include everything from automated return label generation to real-time tracking of returns.

One example of a company that is already using automation in the returns process is Zappos. The online retailer uses a returns management solution that allows customers to easily initiate a return through their website or mobile app. The solution then generates a return label and tracks the return throughout the process, providing customers with real-time updates.


The use of automation in the returns process has several benefits. For ecommerce companies, it can help to reduce the workload of customer service teams and improve the efficiency of the returns process. For customers, it can provide a seamless and convenient experience, making it more likely that they will shop with the company again in the future.


2. Greater Focus on Sustainability

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, ecommerce companies will likely emphasize sustainable returns practices. This could include offering eco-friendly packaging options and making it easier for customers to recycle or repurpose returned products.


One company that is already taking steps to become more sustainable in its returns process is Patagonia. The outdoor apparel retailer has a program called Common Threads Recycling, which allows customers to send back used Patagonia products to be repaired or recycled. The company has also implemented a number of other sustainability initiatives, such as using recycled materials in its packaging and offering a program that allows customers to trade in their used Patagonia products for a discount on new ones.


The adoption of sustainable returns practices is not only good for the environment, but it can also benefit ecommerce companies in terms of brand reputation and customer loyalty. A study by the National Retail Federation found that 87% of consumers are more likely to shop with a company that has environmentally friendly practices.


3. More Personalized Return Experiences

With the availability of vast amounts of customer data, ecommerce companies will be able to offer more personalized return experiences. This could include tailored return options based on a customer's purchase history or personalized communication about the return process.


One company that is already using data to personalize the returns experience is ASOS, a UK-based online fashion retailer. The company has implemented a returns management solution that uses data to create personalized return options for customers. For example, if a customer frequently returns items that are the wrong size, they may be offered the option to exchange their items for a different size rather than receiving a refund.


Personalized return experiences can help to improve the overall customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. A study by Accenture found that 70% of customers are more likely to shop with a company again if they had a personalized experience.


4. More Convenient Return Locations

In the past, returning an online purchase often meant having to go to a physical location. In 2023, we can expect to see more convenient return options, such as mobile returns kiosks or the ability to drop off returns at a variety of locations (e.g. lockers, store locations, etc.).


One company that is already offering convenient return options is Amazon. The ecommerce giant has a program called Amazon Locker, which allows customers to pick up


Conclusion

In conclusion, ecommerce returns will continue to evolve in 2023 with the increasing use of automation, a focus on sustainability, personalized return experiences, and more convenient return locations. These changes will not only benefit consumers, but also ecommerce companies by improving the efficiency of the returns process, increasing customer satisfaction, and potentially driving repeat business. As the industry continues to grow and change, it will be important for ecommerce companies to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in order to provide the best possible returns experience for their customers.

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