PayPal Broadens Access to Its Post Purchase Services for Merchants to Help Manage Increasing Return Volumes
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), today announced it is delivering more ways to help retailers manage returns by enabling merchants who offer PayPal Checkout to use the Happy Returns return and exchange portal software at no additional cost. Additionally, the company has partnered with Ulta Beauty which increases the total number of Happy Returns Return Bar locations to more than 5,000. As online shopping has continued to accelerate during Covid, average return rates have increased to more than 20%, making it more important than ever for merchants to manage their post-purchase processes more effectively.
Expanding Return Software Access
American consumers returned over $218 billion of online purchases in 20213, creating logistical challenges and greater costs for retailers. By making the Happy Returns software available to PayPal merchant customers at no additional cost, PayPal helps merchants of all sizes to transform their returns experience while streamlining their own operations.
The Happy Returns software automates returns and exchanges and delivers a more user-friendly customer flow. With intelligent exchange suggestions based on return reasons and inventory, consumers can make an exchange within the same transaction or choose to receive a refund. For merchants that also use the Happy Returns in-person Return Bar service, the return flow presents customers with nearby Return Bar locations so they can select their preferred returns location.
“As return volumes continue to increase, this is a crucial time for merchants to implement efficient and cost-effective solutions that better equip them to manage the growing role returns play in retail,” said David Sobie, Vice President of Happy Returns by PayPal. “By offering the Happy Returns software free of charge, we are delivering a post-purchase solution for merchants that helps them retain revenue and gives them a competitive edge in today’s market.”
In addition, the Happy Returns portal is now localized to eight additional languages to enable access by consumers in the EU and Canada. The appropriate language is displayed automatically based on the shopper’s location, with translation of all screen instructions including custom copy provided by the merchant. The returns portal also includes a robust dashboard that enables the merchant to run detailed reports of returns data and respond to returns-related customer inquiries in real time.
“Happy Returns has made it possible for us to offer seamless exchanges to our customers across the globe, helping retain revenue we would have otherwise lost,” said Niran Chana, President, International at Gymshark.
Ulta Beauty Introduces Return Bars
Despite the continued increase in online shopping, consumers have demonstrated a strong and growing preference for Happy Returns’ box-free, label-free drop-off—with over 70% choosing to visit a Return Bar rather than returning by mail when given the option. To help support this demand, Happy Returns and Ulta Beauty are introducing Return Bars in more than 1,300 Ulta Beauty retail locations nationwide, increasing the total number of Return Bar locations overall to more than 5,000. With this expansion, 78% of Americans will live within a 10-mile radius of a Return Bar, making the return process convenient and efficient for consumers.
Starting in select locations and expanding throughout 2022, the Ulta Beauty partnership extends Happy Returns’ unique reverse logistics solution to remove consumer and merchant return pain points. Shoppers begin their return on the Happy Returns-hosted returns portal or the merchants’ own return flow and receive a QR code. They can then bring the items only—no box or receipt required—plus the QR code to the Return Bar at an Ulta Beauty store to complete the return. Returns from multiple merchants are aggregated into a reusable tote, reducing shipping costs and making the process more sustainable by eliminating cardboard and lowering carbon emissions.
“Though consumers have increased their frequency of online shopping, returns are commonly an ‘in person’ experience and are costly and challenging for merchants,” said David Sobie, Vice President of Happy Returns by PayPal. “Our partnership with Ulta Beauty widens our in-person drop off network and gives online shoppers more options to complete returns—Return Bars bring new customers into stores and give merchants a more cost-effective and practical way to manage their reverse logistics.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Happy Returns to the Ulta Beauty family to deliver our guests greater convenience,” said Kecia Steelman, Chief Operating Officer, Ulta Beauty. “Our pilot with the innovative return platform reinforced the value simplified, in-person returns offer consumers and retailers alike. We’re encouraged by the increased store traffic and in-store engagement the partnership drives. This is a winning opportunity for our guests, our brand and Happy Returns.”