Christmas Day has come and gone once again, but gift exchanging has been drawn out as a result of shipping delays that prevented Christmas presents from arriving on time. In fact, you might be still waiting for a confirmation email that a gift you sent was delivered. And as with all gift-giving, there are always returns. 

Recent data indicate a series of pain points for consumers who need to return an item purchased online. The three most prevalent selections were paying to ship an item back, having to drop an item at a mail facility, and having no easy way to make an exchange.

Just before consumers checked out for the holidays, Walmart announced its partnership with FedEx to do porch pickup for returns during the busy holiday season. This was a smart move considering one-quarter of Americans who shop online find dropping off a return at a mail facility aggravating.

At the same time, interest is weak. Among people who shop, 25% say they are at least somewhat likely to use this service while the remaining 75% aren’t likely at all.

But what might be promising is the fact that online shoppers overall report a likelihood to shop as a result of this new service (expected to extend past the usual holiday season). Almost a third of online shoppers say they are more likely to hop on Walmart’s website to make a purchase now that returns are temporarily more convenient. 

And while Walmart fans are the most likely to shop on more given the new service, even some neutral and unfavorable consumers say they are at least somewhat likely to do so as well. 

Convenience is definitely king this year with so many aspects of life and leisure upended. CivicScience will monitor usage of Walmart’s service and any changes in how and where consumers are conducting online transactions. Stay tuned for this, as well as more data on online returns, in 2021.