IPC Return Platform reaches 2m items

The International Post Corporation (IPC) Common Return Platform has reached 2 million returned items at the end of the third quarter this year (2015). A simple returns process is critical for good international e-commerce and this system is enabling exporters from ten countries to make for a better customer returns experience.

The IPC set up the Easy Return Solution with five European postal companies. The system has now evolved to meet the demands of a number of international mail networks in ten participating countries. The systems include EPG, KPG, PRIME, INTERCONNECT and UPU parcels under the IPC Common Return Platform that was launched in 2013.

215,000 labels were created by the returns solution in September 2015. The number of items returned under the first three quarters of 2015 almost equalled the number of items returned in the previous four years.

The CRP provides a return service to e-tailers across national borders. E-tailers can email a postal label to the customer who gives the parcel over to a post office counter without payment, with the e-tailer making the payment in their own country for the international returns service.

With up to 40% of purchases online resulting in a return (particularly in fashion) having a good returns system is essential for good customer service. Amazon has recently informed its marketplace sellers that in order to sell overseas, they must have a returns address in that country, but other marketplaces such as eBay have yet to follow suit. The CRP has identified a gap in the market to minimise issues for the customer in initiating a return without undue loss of money in the process. As such e-tailers with access to the IPC CRP are using this to improve their exports business. While 10 national postal operators are using it for inbound operations, 30 postal operators are now client countries so the e-tailers from the 10 originating countries have a widening customer base as the programme expands.