With the holiday season now finished, UPS is bracing for National Returns Day on Jan. 5, when return packages sent back to retailers are projected to hit their peak.
The first week of January is typically the busiest week for return packages and UPS is projecting that number to hit 5.8 million packages this year, peaking on Thursday, Jan. 5 with a staggering 1.3 million returns alone.
The projection for this year is up from 5 million packages in the first week of 2016 and 1 million packages on National Returns Day.
Retailers have improved the returns experience in the past five years according to UPS, with consumers reporting fewer issues paying for returns shipping, paying restocking fees and receiving credits or refunds.
UPS recently formed an alliance with Optoro, a technology company that helps retailers and manufacturers manage, process, and sell returned and excess inventory. Together, the companies offer a simpler reverse logistics solution that combines UPS’s operational and logistics experience with Optoro’s software platform that maximizes recovery value and reduces environmental waste.
“UPS helps retailers provide shoppers with a satisfying returns experience while managing rising returns volume and the complexities of providing a seamless omnichannel shopping experience,” said Teresa Finley, chief marketing officer for UPS. “While returns can’t be eliminated, an easy to use returns experience should be one of several retail strategies to enhance customer loyalty and manage the cost of returns processing.”