The Demand for Free Returns

customer demands free returns

The Expectation of Free Returns

The average American consumer spends $1,804 a year shopping online. Alongside this immense amount of spending comes increased consumer demands. Retailers have already seen an influx of requests for same-day delivery, which has forced them to innovate their supply chains in order to accommodate this “on-demand” generation of buyers. Another online shopper demand is free returns for their purchases. With companies like Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon offering free returns on purchases, it makes customers expect that every online retailer should offer free returns. This consumer demand has led to about 49% of online retailers are now offering free returns on shipping, according to a study done by the National Retail Federation.


On-Demand Shopper Expecations: Same-Day Delivery

eCommerce same-day delivery

eCommerce retailers are in the middle of a shift in the online consumers’ demands for fulfillment and delivery. This shift is showing the emergence of the “on-demand shopper” that expects items in their hands immediately via same-day delivery. Industry leaders call this the Amazon Syndrome, which is defined as the set of online buyers’ expectations that “shipping should be free” and “delivery should be instant”. As it happens, the Amazon Syndrome is so prevalent that Amazon has escalated their famous Prime shipping subscription service to a potential program referred to as “Prime Now”. The evidence of this new service is Amazon leasing a new warehouse outside of Boston, which hints at same-day delivery (within one-hour) in the Boston area.