Consumers agree: painless return processes are few and far between. In fact, the average time it took U.S. retailers to credit returns during the peak holiday shipping season was 13.3 days, according to a recent Kurt Salmon survey.
Furthermore, the firm found that less than a third of retailers provided both a return label and free return shipping, while the average cost for consumers who had to pay for returns was $11.50.
“This holiday season marked a tipping point in the shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping, with record breaking e-commerce sales and returns,” said Zander Adell, co-founder of Doorman, a mobile app that launched in 2013 to help consumers by storing packages at the start-up’s warehouse until a delivery time was scheduled for when they’re actually at home. “It’s expected that gifts with an original retail value of $19.4 billion, or about a quarter of all e-commerce sales, are expected to be returned. That’s a lot of time wasted in long lines at the post office.”
Now that Doorman has conquered missed deliveries and doorstep theft, it’s ready to tackle another annoying aspect of online shopping: returns.
“Our focus started with fixing package delivery, but that’s not the end of the shopping experience anymore. Over 30 percent of apparel purchases are returned and our goal is to make the entire online shopping process—from receipt to return—more delightful,” Adell continued.
Thanks to a new feature on the start-up’s iOS app, shoppers can schedule a Doorman courier to pick up their online returns anytime from 6 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week, and drop them off at UPS, FedEx or USPS for $3.99 per package or $29 per month for a “Gold Plan” subscription which allows for unlimited deliveries and returns.
“Doorman has seen amazing growth since last holiday season. We grew over 690 percent last year and we’re excited to roll out to more cities with our continuing commitment to fix the most important moments of online shopping: when you actually get—and return—your stuff,” Adell said.
Doorman, currently available in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City, has raised $3.37 million in three funding rounds since 2014. Backers include Matrix Partners (which previously invested in Gilt Groupe and JustFab), Structure Capital and VGO Ventures.