Pitney Bowes and PackageHub Launch Returns Drop-off Network
In a strategic move set to reshape the landscape of e-commerce returns, Pitney Bowes, a leading global shipping and mailing company, has joined forces with PackageHub, the second-largest franchise system of retail shipping stores in the United States. Together, they announced the inauguration of a revolutionary returns drop-off network, boasting nearly 1,000 convenient locations across the nation.
This collaborative initiative, presented at no additional cost to retailers or consumers, signifies a groundbreaking development in the realm of e-commerce logistics. The returns drop-off network accommodates no-box and no-label returns, offering a hassle-free solution for both merchants and consumers. E-commerce brands currently utilizing Pitney Bowes returns service and its platform partners will seamlessly gain access to this extensive network, requiring no additional integration.
The newly launched network further complements Pitney Bowes' existing infrastructure of 30,000 postal locations providing no-label returns. Notably, approximately 50% of the U.S. population resides within 10 miles of a drop-off network location, with plans for hundreds more locations to be introduced in the coming months.
Gregg Zegras, EVP and President of Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes, commented on the significance of this venture, stating, "E-commerce returns are among the fastest-growing costs for retailers—costs that are sure to increase given the historic levels of online shopping we’ve seen this holiday." He emphasized that this comprehensive returns service has the potential to lower the cost of returns for retailers while simultaneously enhancing the consumer experience.
Brandon Gale, CEO of PackageHub, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, saying, "By aligning with Pitney Bowes, we are poised to deliver a premium returns experience to both merchants and consumers through PackageHub Returns, ensuring a mutually beneficial outcome."
The benefits of the new returns drop-off network extend beyond convenience. Notable advantages include a reduction in exceptions during processing, with no-label returns using a QR code demonstrating up to a 30% decrease in exceptions compared to packages labeled by consumers. This efficiency can significantly streamline return processing costs for retailers and expedite customer refunds.
Moreover, the no-box returns feature contributes to the reduction of fraud, as it diminishes the likelihood of incorrect or invalid items being returned—an issue that plagues almost 40% of online retailers, according to Pitney Bowes' recent BOXpoll retailer survey.
For consumers, the growth of online shopping since the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the appeal of returns drop-off locations, particularly for the nearly one-third of consumers who lack a secure place to leave packages at home for carrier pickup. This development marks a win-win scenario, addressing the evolving challenges in the e-commerce landscape while simultaneously enhancing the overall efficiency and convenience of the returns process.