Online returns are increasing as more and more people are shopping online. According to a report from CBRE, holiday shopping returns totaled $41 billion this season, and online purchases are returned between 15% and 30% more than in-store purchases. The high rate of returns is expensive for ecommerce companies, and will only continue to increase until a viable solution is found.

“Returns are increasing on a relative basis,” Kurt Strasmann, executive managing director at CBRE, tells “Returns are increasing as ecommerce sales and online purchases are increasing. It will continue to increase. The returns and the reverse logistics has been a very puzzling issue for all e-tailers to understand because it is a very expensive issue.”

The problem is multi-faceted, but the core of the issues is simply that the warehouses that store and ship goods are not equipped to take them back again. “When items come back to the 3PL, it is not an efficient storage process for the return sales,” says Strasmann. “The same thing on the disposition of the item. It also takes time and labor to sort and store items. There isn’t an efficient way to handle it right now.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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