Beginning in August, UPS will launch a free online tool giving e-commerce merchants options to customize return shipments. The tool, called UPS Returns Manager, will give merchant customers the option to print return shipping labels directly through the UPS website or at UPS stores.
The tool is scheduled to launch on Aug. 14 in the United States and then to expand to 43 other countries by Aug. 28.
Stu Marcus, UPS vice president of customer technology marketing, said that the Returns tool can be used by any shipper, but is expected to be most helpful for “small and mid-sized merchants that lack this capability in-house.”
The new service enables shippers to administer authorized return shipments, determine their desired service level, request a reason for return and then see tracking reports on their shipments, both outbound and return. UPS, Marcus added, is the first logistics provider to “offer the ability to create a return shipment through a tracking results page.”
E-commerce makes up a growing share of UPS’ core domestic package segment and is also a heavy contributor to commercial returns; according to UPS, 2015 data indicates at least 30 percent of e-commerce orders are returned, compared with the less-than-9 percent return rate for sales at brick-and-mortar stores.
The Returns Manager tool aims to streamline the returns process and reduce costs associated with processing returns, which UPS estimates ranges between 10 to 15 percent of the cost of goods sold.
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