The holiday season is over, but the shipping season isn’t.
Consumers are expected to return $173 billion worth of holiday purchases from 2023, 28 percent more than the previous year, according to Optoro, a company that helps merchants manage their returns process.
This makes returns an important source of growth for the Postal Service’s package business.
“We want to be the only choice for customers who have merchandise they want to return,” said Catherine R. Knox, shipping and commerce product management director.
To meet demand for easy, convenient return methods, the Postal Service offers Click-N-Ship, which allows consumers to print shipping labels online, and USPS Label Delivery, which delivers return and outbound labels to both residential and business addresses.
Customers can also visit a Post Office full-service retail window or self-service kiosk to print return labels using QR codes.
To further help consumers with their returns, USPS offers complimentary packaging and Package Pickup, as well as shipping products such as Priority Mail Returns, Priority Mail Express Returns and USPS Ground Advantage Returns, which each include $100 worth of insurance.
To help merchants, USPS offers a universal shipping permit that covers Parcel Return Service, USPS Returns and outbound products.
The Postal Service also makes it easy for merchants to obtain return shipping labels that can be included with a customer’s order.
Employees can support the Postal Service’s efforts to grow its returns business through timely and accurate scanning, which helps both customers and merchants track return packages.
“Scanning is of the utmost importance,” said John Samuels III, a shipping and commerce product management specialist. “We can’t emphasize that enough.”