Royal Mail predicts that ‘Take-back Tuesday’ – the first working day in the New Year – will be the busiest day for online shopping returns through the post as shoppers rush to send back unwanted Christmas gifts. On Tuesday 3 January, returns of online purchases are predicted to jump by more than 50 per cent in a single day, versus the average number of return parcels per day in December.  Today’s prediction is based on the number of returns parcels handled by Royal Mail through its Tracked Returns service, which is used by more than 1000 e-retailers for the return of unwanted online purchases.

Last year, the month of January saw the highest returns volumes of the financial year.

The ease of returning online purchases is still a crucial part of the online shopping experience with 38 per cent of online shoppers saying a free returns policy is likely to increase their online shopping frequency.

Clothing and footwear are most likely to be returned. Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters – Returns Special found that 30 per cent of online shoppers when questioned said they returned women’s clothes, 17 per cent sent back men’s clothes, 16 per cent returned footwear and 7 per cent decided to return children’s clothes.

Royal Mail recently launched a new Returns Portal, to help online retailers better manage customer returns, by giving them full visibility of items as they make their way back to warehouses and stores.