Zulily testing returns

Zulily is considering overturning a previous policy and accepting shoppers' merchandise returns. The online retailer is testing a returns program, finally acknowledging that such a policy is important to many consumers.

The flash site's no-return policy has been a crucial feature that lifted the company's annual sales to more than $1 billion after just five years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Zulily became a public company at the end of 2013 and is one of the few fashion e-commerce sites that has not had to borrow money to stay afloat.The retailer sells items through a limited-time sale before ordering the goods from vendors. So no returns and a sell-first-buy-later policy keeps inventory and costs low.

In May, the company started accepting returns on certain apparel brands and home goods for a limited test group of U.S. consumers. The shoppers were selected randomly.

The test is being done without vendor involvement and there is no set end date.

Returns are a big draw for consumers, but can be especially costly for retailers. On apparel, return rates can run as high as 30 percent, according to Kurt Salmon. While some chains try to limit the cost by setting up time limits for returns or making consumers pay for shipping, other retailers are setting the bar high with free returns such as Zappos and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal article

Related stories:
Alibaba buys stake in Zulily
Zulily launches more personalized website
Zulily to stock inventory
Future success remains uncertain for Zulily's IPO
Fashion e-tailers borrowing to stay afloat

 

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