Without box and unpacked: Amazon revolutionizes returns

No package, no label, no tape: Amazon now allows its customers in the US to place orders unpacked. Amazon is revolutionizing the business with returns and putting pressure on other online retailers.

Handling returns is hotly debated within e-commerce. Should retailers educate their customers to minimize returns? Or is the customer in the focus and the return of packages is therefore uncomplicated?

Depending on the shop owner, there are different arguments and differentiated answers. But whether the dealers with a complicated handling of returns their position for a long time can represent is questionable.

Without box and unpacked: Amazon revolutionizes returns

Why it is like that? Because the world’s largest online retailer has made a potentially pivotal announcement. In a blog post, Amazon has now announced that its customers can now submit their returns without a package, tape or return label.

We understand that it takes trouble and effort to find a box and tape, and to print a label.

With these words, which at first glance seem unreal, Amazon introduces its small revolution. For the time being, only new customers in the US will benefit from the innovation. Of course that does not mean that we, too, will not sooner or later benefit from users in Germany.

Returns to Amazon, Retail and UPS

Of course, it is not (yet) possible to return any order unpacked. But with “millions of products”, this option already exists, according to Amazon.

As a place of return, Amazon customers have access to a wide range of options:

  • All physical Amazon stores. These include, for example, all Amazon Books- and Amazon-4 Star stores.
  • There is also an unpackaged return at Kohl’s 1,150 stores, nearly 500 Whole Foods stores and 4,768 UPS stores.

The involvement of UPS stationary retailers and UPS package specialists also simplifies the search for a convenient delivery location.

At the store, an Amazon employee then scans the code for Amazon’s matching return warehouse upon receipt of the product and then handles packaging and shipping. So customers really do not need more than the physical product and possibly the order number.

Amazon increases the pressure on international online trading

Of course, other online retailers could, of course, stick to their returns handling procedure. In Germany, in particular, there will probably be little change immediately.

In the long run, however, Amazon is putting pressure on the entire trade with this announcement. Finally, Amazon customers are accustomed to being able to place their orders unpacked.

Those who do not offer this option in their own online shop will probably be replaced sooner or later by Amazon – if that is possible. Because one thing has shown the past: We users are merciless in online shopping.

Comfort stands above all other factors. And that’s exactly what Amazon delivers once again.

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About the author

Christian Erxleben

Christian Erxleben has been Editor-in-Chief of BASIC thinking since the end of 2017. Previously, he worked as Head of Social Media and Head of Social Media at BASIC thinking. His way to BASIC thinking was via the Nrnberger Nachrichten, Focus Online and the INTERNET WORLD Business. Professionally and privately he loves and lives social media.