Returnmates seeks to “eliminate friction” when shipping items to the store


For many buyers, the process of returning something they have purchased has always been a problem, especially when it comes to returning something. The reasons involve simple issues such as finding the right shipping box, tape, or printer for return labels.

Now, a startup is hoping to fix the problem and facilitate online returns.

“We’ve done hundreds of thousands of pickups at this point. And so we’ve really seen an incredible response from retailers and consumers over the past 18 months, ”Eric Wimer, co-founder and CEO of Returnmates, told Yahoo Finance Live on Friday.

The company “picks up the packages and ships them, your ecommerce returns,” Wilmer explained, adding that there are several ways the customer can use the online starter app.

Options include using a Returnmates partner retailer who will allow you to schedule a door-to-door pickup or schedule a pickup directly on their website.

“We see a lot of people close to 90% of customers leaving the item on their doorstep. Now it obviously depends on what neighborhood you live in and whether you’re comfortable doing it, ”Kristian Zak, Co-Founder of Returnmates and CMO, told Yahoo Finance Live.

As for the company’s workforce, their drivers are independent contractors who are paid a flat rate for their route and have a carrier to pick up deliveries. And for those who work in a warehouse: “we also have a network of people who help us process all the packages and get them to the carriers”.

The company offers two pricing options: $ 6 per pickup, or a flat rate of $ 15 for unlimited pickups each month. And Returnmates is not only for returns, but also can perform delivery for some stores.

“For example, with one of our Rent the Runway partners, we will deliver their bags, then we will take the old bags they send back. So we are able to handle this transaction in one trip, ”Wimer added.

Returning companions

In 2019, data from Narvar’s Consumer Report revealed that 96% of customers who were happy with the return process said they would buy from the retailer again.

Meanwhile, customers – who are shopping more online in the wake of COVID-19 – are looking for convenience and transparency. Amid this trend, Wimer noted that the returns have been “under the microscope.”

He added, “This is definitely something that brands and retailers are hyper focused on and by taking the friction out of the whole process, the comeback offers this really cool alternative option for people.”

At this point, research shows that 80% of respondents still check shipping and return policies before purchasing, while 50% said these policies determine whether or not they purchase an item.

In recent years, the company has extended its roots to San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Austin, Dallas and has partnered with retailers and markets.

And along with that, they’ve raised $ 5 million – led by Lightshed Ventures to make door-to-door pickup the new normal. This is something that the founders said was long overdue.

“The money will be used primarily to continue to expand our coverage across the country. Plus it’s about developing technology to further support our retail partners, ”said Wimer.

“Our vision is to provide this service to all retailers, large or small, so that they can offer this door-to-door pickup option to consumers,” Zak added.

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @daniromerotv

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