Amazon Releases New Return Policy & Drone Delivery Race Heats Up
Amazon Changes Free Return Policy
To increase customer loyalty during the holiday season, Amazon announced it will be expanding its free return policy. The new policy will give a longer window to return items and an expansion in the types of items that can be returned.
The new holiday return policy will allow customers who bought merchandise between Nov. 1 and Dec. 30 to have until Jan. 31 to return their items. This is an extension from the normal 30-day limit that Amazon has in place for other times of the year.
The new policy also expands the types of items that can be returned. While the company has always taken back items like apparel and footwear, it will now be accepting electronics, pet supplies and household items, according to Forbes.
Customers returning Amazon items can take them to Amazon retail locations, Kohl’s stores, some Whole Foods Markets and the more than 5,000 UPS stores that accept Amazon returns. Any customer who has one of these locations within five miles of their address will be able to return the items for free.
While this policy will be expensive for Amazon, it is an added incentive for consumers to purchase their holiday gifts from the e-commerce website. Only time will tell how many Amazon customers take advantage of this new policy.
Advisory Firm Says Alphabet, UPS Leading in Race to Drone Delivery
The biggest companies in logistics and shipping are currently in a race to make their dream of drone delivery become a reality. Advisory firm Loop Capital Market says that UPS and Alphabet are in an early lead in the race.
The biggest obstacle for those competing for drone delivery is to win approval from the FAA. If companies can receive a particular waiver and certification from the administration, then the path to drone delivery becomes much easier. Currently, UPS is the only company to have both the waiver and certification.
While receiving approval for drone delivery is an arduous process, the end result could save companies millions. This is because drones would significantly reduce the expenses of the last and most costly leg of the delivery process: last mile.
While the idea of drone delivery was originally met with skepticism, logistic and shipping companies now understand the value that this type of technology holds. Loop Capital Market estimates that a fleet of 100,000 drones would save Amazon $1.2 billion per year. Savings that large means that every company will continue to fight for the approval to operate drones.