Midland Pallet Trucks, a materials handing retailer and pallet truck specialist, is urging retailers to act now to put returns processes in place ahead of the holiday season as surges in online shopping reach record levels.
As a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, online shopping and the eCommerce industry have grown significantly, with the Christmas shopping season predicted to see demand continue to rise, and the Christmas rush commencing early and well ahead of the festive season.
With warehousing companies already struggling to cope with the unprecedented demand, Midland Pallet Trucks says retailers should now move swiftly to get their returns policies in place and ensure that they are suitably scalable to accommodate the expected increases likely to be seen this year, before pressures exceed capacity.
With a surge in online shopping, there will be an increase in the number of returns, with research 30% of shoppers deliberately over-ordering. Typically, 25% of online purchases are later returned, and with many retailers lengthening their return policy window off the back of the pandemic, along with an increase in online sales, this figure will only increase.
According to Barclays, 57% of retailers stated that handing returns negatively impacted the running of their businesses on a day-to-day basis, and with the number of returns on the up, retailers should be aware of the detrimental effects this could have on their businesses.
To prepare for this, it is essential returns policies are put in place now ahead of the influx of online shopping over Christmas to help ease the challenges for online operations. Smooth and rapid returns are essential to maintain loyal and trusting customers, so having additional materials handling equipment in place, such as hand pallet trucks, weighing scale trucks and manual stackers to move shipments efficiently from A to B is vital to maintaining an efficient operation.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks said “Helping retailers understand the importance of preparing for an increase in returns, especially over the busy festive season, is crucial for businesses to run smoothly and for them to maintain loyal customers.
“I urge any retail managers to plan ahead and anticipate an increased demand for pallet volumes and other handing equipment by increasing warehousing and having strong logistical procedures in place. This will help both retailers and warehousing companies deal with the challenges of a surge in online sales and see our busiest time of the year through smoothly.”