February 13th 2018
Statistics Dive Deep into 2017 Holiday Returns Activity
Irvine, CA —Appriss Retail, the industry leader in retail performance improvement solutions, today released its 2017 Holiday returns statistics. With return authorization solutions deployed in more than 34,000 stores across the country, Appriss Retail annually reports on the state of post-holiday returns in the United States. The company’s breadth of retail clients and deep analytical expertise uniquely position it to draw an accurate portrayal of this shopping activity during the seven days after Christmas.
“These statistics provide a snapshot of the state of post-holiday returns and are intended to offer retailers insights on return behavior,” said David Speights, PhD, chief data scientist at Appriss Retail. “Our goal is to help retailers optimize their return counters, provide a positive shopping experience for their consumers, and, ultimately, increase the likelihood of the consumer re-spending those return dollars with the retailer.”
1. Returns peaked on Dec. 26 at 10:20 a.m. PST/1:20 p.m. EST. This is close to the same time returns peaked the past four years. It is clear lunchtime on the day after Christmas is the most popular return time of the entire year. This is when all return registers should be properly staffed and associates should be ready to deliver the best customer experience.
2. The highest rate of returns nationwide occurred on Tuesday, Dec. 26, where returns were nearly twice the normal rate seen during the holiday season. And, because of their relation to both Christmas and New Year’s Day – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of that same week were also big return days with returns nearly 50 percent above the normal holiday season rate.
3. The Midwest states again had the highest rate of returns, when comparing total dollars purchased to total dollars returned and exchanged.
a. Missouri had the highest rate of returns with 22.3 percent, while Illinois had the second highest at 20.3 percent.
b. The state with the least rate of returns was Minnesota with 5.8 percent.
Finally, now that holidays are concluded, retail executives can again focus on a wider set of business metrics, including shrink and margin. Appriss Retail’s multi-year analysis indicates that while the convenience of returns is a positive for consumers, poorly managed return processes and outdated policies can contribute significantly to shrink by permitting fraudulent and abusive returns. This can be especially true for Buy-Online-Return-In-Store (BORIS) returns. As companies look to improve their performance and profitability, eliminating friction at the return counter can help attract and retain best customers and increase their long-term value, while still reducing the risk of margin eroding loss.
Appriss Retail provides artificial intelligence-based solutions to help retailers protect margin, unlock sales, and cut shrink. With more than 20 years of retail data science expertise, the company’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform generates advanced analytical insights and real-time decisions that drive action throughout the organization, including operations, finance, marketing, and loss prevention. Its performance-improvement solutions yield measurable results with significant return on investment among retail store, ecommerce, and inventory functions. Appriss Retail serves a global base of leading specialty, apparel, department store, hard goods, big box, grocery, pharmacy, and hospitality businesses in more than 100,000 locations (brick and mortar and online) in 45 countries across six continents. For more information about Appriss Retail, visit https://apprissretail.com.