It’s no secret that returns increase over the holidays—heck, Loop processed a record-breaking 63,161 returns in 2022 over a single day! Well, the high holiday returns trend doesn’t show signs of stopping. This year, we broke our record again—by 102%.

One thing is for sure: our holiday data this year is impressive. We saw increases in: 

  • Sheer return volume
  • Retained revenue
  • Additional revenue from returns

We’ll also take a look at some interesting return trends we’re seeing through this holiday return data, like a greater number of merchants offering “keep item” returns and a slight increase in return fees in shops that we served both last year and this year. Let’s get into it!

Take a look at our numbers from Peak Season 2023 here.

Sheer return volume has increased

That’s right, this year Loop more than doubled our highest daily record for number of returns processed in a single day. Thanks to our company growth (we served 82.4% more merchants than this time last year), and to our incredibly powerful automation tools like Workflows, Loop took on nearly 128,000 returns in a single 24-hour period on Boxing Day. All told, a total of 181K items were returned in that timeframe. That’s wild!

Sure, that’s an impressive amount of growth for Loop itself, but even in terms of sheer time savings, the numbers are staggering.

Tackling nearly 128,000 returns in a single day means that we handled:

  • More than 5,300 returns an hour
  • More than 88 returns a minute
  • Or more than a single return a second

Of course, the number of returns we received at say, 3 AM, were lower than other more active times of the day. During Boxing Day’s busiest hour (noon EST), we saw 11,989 returns come in over a single hour. Needless to say, none of this would be possible without Loop’s top-of-market automation tools (Workflows, anyone?). A manual returns processing solution could certainly never keep up.

Retained revenue and additional revenue from returns

As usual, our merchants saw significant revenue retention on their returns. In total, Loop merchants retained a whopping $6.32 million in revenue!

The same shops that used Loop in 2022 retained 40.4% more revenue on Boxing Day 2023. This is partly thanks to the increase in overall returns this year, but it also means that more and more shoppers are opting to make an exchange or receive a gift card rather than request a refund. Exchanges and gift cards=retained revenue, which really means that merchants get to keep their hard-won cash even when their shoppers weren’t totally pleased with the original products. That’s not only good for merchants’ bottom line, it’s also good for customer lifetime value.  

More shoppers were also spending a little extra to make exchanges this year. Total upsell value for Loop brands was $151.98K. That’s a 31.39% increase from last year. 

We also noticed some interesting return trends based on the holiday returns data from this year, especially around return fees and the option to let shoppers keep an item they returned or exchanged. 

While they may seem counterintuitive, “keep item” options are a great way for merchants to save money on shipping and handling fees on returns, while reducing their carbon footprint and delighting their shoppers. This year, more merchants decided to offer the option to keep a returned item—50% more, in fact. 

Another trend that we saw was that merchants are implementing more return fees, especially on refunds. There was a 14.3% increase in the number of merchants charging for returns. 24% of all returns were charged a fee, whereas 37.8% of refunds were charged a fee. This shows that more merchants tend to charge for refunds in particular, possibly as a way to incentivize exchanges over refund requests. 

The above data is true at the time of writing. We’ll continue to update this post as more data comes in. Happy holidays from all of us here at Loop!

Ready to take your returns to the next level? Book a demo with Loop and learn why we’re the #1 post-purchase platform on the market, no matter what time of year it is.