We’ve spent most of January focusing on the 2017 NRF BIG Show, but there’s been plenty of other news in the world of payments this month. To begin this week, we’re taking a look around the industry at some of the biggest recent news items, and how they tie into the important themes of payments at the start of 2017.

CES Wraps Up
While NRF 2017 saw major announcements in retail and payments, another major January show offered plenty of new payment technology. In its three-day run, CES 2017 had an abundance of exciting showcases:

And there were many, many more. These are just a few of the big payment debuts, but they’re a reminder of the constant innovation that’s going on in the industry.

 

Biggest Return Day of the Year
Every year, we see a variety of reports from various sources about the biggest return shipping day, and estimates start shortly after Christmas and range into the New Year. This year, the most widely cited date came from UPS, who said that the National Returns Day was on January 5. The company estimated they processed 1.3 million packages, nearly double their average load.

There’s several things to note. The first is the massive and still growing significance that item returns have taken on over the past several years. Customers expect returns to be seamless and hassle-free. “Buy anywhere/return anywhere/refund anywhere” is one of the most central pieces of a modern unified commerce enterprise, and it leads to greater customer satisfaction and a broader client reach.

Another aspect to consider is the sheer volume involved in shipping and online commerce now—the biggest return day of the year was only double their average load. People expect you to be online now, and customers that move across channels have proven to be many times more valuable. If you’re not online, and your customers cannot find you where they want you, you’re losing out. Every time a customer can’t find you online, that could be a lost sales opportunity.

Take a look at the number of packages UPS alone is processing on an average day, and think of just how much you’re missing if you’re not online—and how important it is to make the inevitable returns simple.

​​Payments Roundup: The Biggest Stories in January