People have been online shopping like never before during the coronavirus pandemic. In September, for example, U.S. online sales were 43 percent higher than the same time last year, totaling $60.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. But as convenient as it is to shop online, not being able to see or try on products in-person before you buy them comes with some downsides. These days, you're likely finding yourself returning more online purchases than usual, too, which we all know is a hassle.
A recent poll from NPR and Marist found that 91 percent of Americans who shop online say they "only rarely" or "never" return things they buy from a website. And many say that the reason is because they don't want to deal with everything returning online purchases entails, like packaging items back up, shipping them, and waiting for the funds to arrive in their bank account.
Fortunately, there's a new way to make the return process for online orders much easier and soon, you may be able to instantly get money back after making a return. Read on to find out about the company making this possible, and for more retail changes you should know about, This Popular Clothing Chain Just Announced It's Closing 250 Stores.
Happy Returns is a company that provides easier returns and instant refunds.
Happy Returns Inc. was founded in 2015 as a way for online shoppers to return their purchases in person. They have a network of drop boxes called "return bars," which allow consumers to go to a location convenient to them to return items without repackaging them and get an immediate refund.
"Debit or credit card refunds are initiated immediately, and can take up to three to five business days to post to your account," the Happy Returns website reads. "Gift cards and site credits are often immediately available." And for a certain retail policy that may be ending, check out Walmart Is Starting to End Its Most Popular Program.
A new partnership with FedEx is making Happy Returns more accessible.
Though Happy Returns has been around for five years, a new collaboration with FedEx is making it accessible to more people around the country. Happy Returns announced a new partnership with FedEx on Oct. 20, allowing the in-person return business to set up shop in more than 2,000 FedEx Office locations nationwide.
"Product returns without a box or label will be possible at most FedEx Office locations starting in October," a Happy Returns spokesperson said in a statement. With the addition of the company's 500 preexisting return sites in bookstores, offices, malls, and others retailers, this will quadruple the number of drop-off locations to 2,623 across the U.S. And for more shopping changes afoot, check out The COVID Safety Measure Walmart Just Said They're Reinstating.
You can make returns for purchases from around 100 retailers.
Nearly 100 retailers—both online and in-person—allow customers to take advantage of Happy Returns' service. This includes sites like Revolve, Avenue, Everlane, Draper James, World Market, Rothy's, and American Giant.
"Our exchange rate increased 33 percent after we switched to Happy Returns' online return and exchange service," Heather Howard, vice president of operations and people at Rothy's, said in a statement last year. "Our customers love it." For more retail opportunities you may have missed, learn more about how Bed Bath&Beyond Just Made a Major Change to Stay Afloat.
And its latest retail collaboration was with a beloved brand.
Women's apparel company Dressbarn announced that it was shuttering all of its stores at the end of 2019. Following this financial hardship, the brand emerged as a digital-only retailer in Jan. 2020. However, that meant there were no actual stores for customers to return items to anymore. So in September, Dressbarn tagged Happy Returns Inc. as its go-to in-person return agency.
"For Dressbarn, it's about eliminating the hassle and the wait that the shoppers have with returning by mail," Happy Return's CEO David Sobie said in a statement. "You don't have to print a label, you don't have to box it up, you don't have to wait for three weeks (for a refund), checking your credit card statement." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.