shutterstock_469289636 (1)

More than half of all parcels sent in the post and via couriers this week are unwanted Christmas gifts, creating a “tsunami of returns” according to ParcelHero.

It said the 52% boom in online shopping had created a huge jump in the number of presents now being returned, with the first working day of 2021 seeing returns increase by 10.7% year on year.

ParcelHero said fashion stores were particularly feeling the strain, with initial figures indicating over 60% of items in the process of being returned were clothes.

Brendan Heegan, chief executive of logistics firm Boxzooka, said it was likely that e-commerce stores would be “bombarded” with returns and it was important they spied opportunities for resales: “That means optimising items that get sent back to warehouses for a swift resale or exchange when applicable to avoid losing out on new revenue,” he said.

“Be sure to track your return rate and go over your own return policy to make sure you are not covering added costs that aren’t promised to the customer, such as free shipping or free returns.”

Looking further ahead, Heegan said e-commerce firms should be working with 3PLs to discuss sales trends in 2021, to bolster peak performance.

He added: “Analysing your selling history from previous years and gauging potential logistics scenarios you may encounter could make all the difference.

“For example, consider adding additional delivery vehicles or drivers to your fleet during weeks that were busy in years past depending on sales volume.”