As Online Purchases Reach Record Highs, Returns Do Too

January 12, 2021

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing, more Americans were shopping online in 2020. Online purchases during the 2020 holiday season grew 32.2% over the year before, reaching a record $188.2 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Internet sales during November reached $100 billion for the first time, and daily sales for the period exceeded more than $1 billion, with 50 days seeing more than $2 billion in sales.

The surge in online sales has one potential downside though, and that is the record number of returns that are expected. About $330 billion in global online purchases made during the holiday season are expected to be returned, according to an analysis from Salesforce. This represents about 30% of total purchases and could mean a massive headache for retailers.

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