Returns Cost Retailers $743 Billion in 2023

Returns cost retailers an arm and a leg in 2023. However, many are focusing on practical ways to reduce returns, and costs are lower than in 2022 and 2021.

US returns totaled $743 billion in 2023, according to a report produced by the NRF (National Retail Federation) and Appriss.

Interestingly though, while this number is high, it is lower than the previous two years. According to data from Statista, US returns totaled $761 billion in 2021 and $817 billion in 2022 (highest-ever). However, returns are still far from returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Retailers are working hard to find practical solutions to reduce returns. These include improving product descriptions so shoppers make better purchasing decisions and requiring customers to send receipts along with the purchase they want to return.

More controversially, some retailers are experimenting with charging for returns, which may deter returns but will be unpopular with customers.

Some other interesting insights from the report highlighted in an article by NRF:

  • “[For] every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer incurs $145 million in merchandise returns.”
  • “As a percentage of sales, the total return rate for 2023 was 14.5%.”
  • “Online sales do see a higher return rate, with 17.6% or $247 billion.”
  • Conversely, brick-and-mortar retailers experienced a rate of return of 10.02%.
  • “[Return] fraud contributed $101 billion in overall losses for retailers.”

Returns are a part of life when you run an e-commerce business. However, Sellercloud believes they shouldn’t be a challenge to deal with.

With Sellercloud, sellers can use our RMA receiving software, Receivebridge, to track returns and serial numbers, update product information easily, and prevent fraud.

You will also be able to utilize Sellercloud’s returns and refunds reporting features to monitor returns and refunds and take measures to reduce them.