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CBRE: Holiday E-Commerce Returns Could Cost Retailers $29B


CBRE estimates e-commerce returns will range between $14B and $29B following this holiday season. But those numbers pale in comparison to the $95B in sales online retailers will have made this year.

Returns at those levels are not abnormal, considering e-commerce regularly experiences a 15% to 30% return rate due to customers often buying multiple versions of the same item to decide which to keep. On a positive note, it’s likely online return rates will fall this year as retailers focus more on analyzing data to reduce how many goods customers send back, CBRE reports.

Online retailers are also growing their reverse logistics operation to handle their own returns, though contracting with third-party logistics firms is becoming increasingly popular.