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As online retail explodes and surpasses $600 billion in the United States this year, expectations continue to rise for faster shipping and return options. This comes at an increasing cost to the environment, something that today’s consumers are more aware of than ever.
When considering environmentally friendly policies, it’s important to not think of them as a cost burden. There are plenty of ways for retailers to implement thoughtful strategies that are good for both business and the planet. And although Earth Day 2019 has passed, it is time we continue the conversation.
Rethinking product returns is a great place to start. Average return rates for online purchases are two to three times higher than brick and mortar and can reach as high as 30% depending upon the product category. Shipping products back and forth so often is having a big impact on everything from green gas emissions to landfill waste.
Having helped hundreds of retailers of all sizes build their online return strategies, here are a few approaches you can use to reduce your environmental impact.