In 2017, retailers project $351 billion in sales will be lost to returns, but there’s more to the story.
According to the 2017 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry Report issued by Appriss Retail, return fraud and return abuse has increased. Nationwide, return fraud costs U.S. retailers $17.6 billion, and when return abuse (e.g., wardrobing/renting) is factored in, the value rises to $22.8 billion.
Why is this the case, when it is supposed to be more difficult to "return" good when shopping online?
One attendee at the eTail West Conference in Palm Sprins said that it is actually easier to return now- it's just a trip to the post office.
Another said that since many customers aren't seeing or trying the product out at the physical store, this is adding to the number of returns.
To put this into perspective, return fraud and abuse costs retailers $5 to $6.50 for every $100 returned.