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42% of Online Apparel Purchasers Made a Return in the Past Year, Survey Finds

Pure-play contract logistics provider GXO Logistics Inc. released findings on Tuesday from its most recent global survey on trends in e-commerce that showed 72 percent of retailers are investing in their returns management processes.

The survey, which detailed trends in consumer shopping habits and retailer behaviors, including the link between increased e-commerce activity and higher returns volumes, also revealed that more than 25 percent of retailers recently invested in additional warehouse space.

What’s more, 57 percent of consumers said having a sustainable returns program is an important factor when making a purchase online. In the past 12 months, 36 percent of retailers reported that online returns have increased, 37 percent of merchants said returns have increased their operational costs and 42 percent of consumers said they returned a piece of apparel online.

“We’re seeing a rapid increase in outsourcing from retailers,” Richard Cawston, president-Europe for GXO, said. “They want to de-risk their supply chains. They’re looking for a technologically advanced logistics partner with scale to support their e-commerce growth, including a rising need for returns management that requires specific expertise in technology to optimize inventory.”

GXO is helping customers adjust to growing e-commerce demand–as an estimated 35 percent of goods bought online are returned–by providing reverse logistics solutions at greater scale. The need for global reverse logistics is projected to increase substantially, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicting that spending in this area will rise to $604 billion by 2025.

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GXO’s warehouses are becoming increasingly automated for efficiency, speed and safety. Using its proprietary software and expertise in network design, GXO can tailor automated solutions to specific use cases and forecast the future rate of return for products.

The findings are informed primarily by the results of two surveys commissioned by GXO and conducted by Statista. The retailer statistics were derived from 360 respondents representing companies of various sizes in the U.S., U.K., France and Spain. The consumer statistics were taken from approximately 4,000 respondents from various demographics. The findings were complemented by GXO’s internal data and contextual information from outside sources.

GXO Logistics employs 94,000 and operates 869 warehouse locations totaling 208 million square feet. Despite its market leadership, GXO holds only 5 percent of the fast-growing $430 billion potential addressable logistics market in Europe and North America. GXO’s corporate headquarters are in Greenwich, Conn.