US order returns firm Happy Returns raises $8 million

Californian start-up Happy Returns, a company which provides online stores a physical outlet where clients can return their orders, has announced the raising of some $8 million in funds (6.9 million euros) to put toward its development in the retail market. 

The Californian start-up specialises in returning items bought online - Happy Returns

Since raising $4 million in a funding round in September, the Santa Monica-based company has added around 50 addresses to its network, covering now 14 cities in the US. The objective, according to founders Mark Geller and David Sobie, who serve as director of operations and managing director, respectively, is to have 200 points of return by the end of 2018. 

In the US, Happy Returns is boosted by a return rate of 30-40% depending on the state, and by the fact that 73% of Americans say that returning items is the most unpleasant part of buying something online. The idea of even having to return something is enough to stop some 28% of shoppers from buying online, while 39% of shoppers avoid buying an item from a retailer online where the returns process is complex.

The young firm is also on the receiving end of an increasing cross-channel retail market, especially as more online players opt for offline spaces. A transition in which e-commerce giant Amazon, with the recent purchasing of Whole Foods and the opening of bookstores, has started engaging in, paving the way for start-ups like Happy Returns to emerge.

Essentially, the returns business allows intermediate-sized brands to meet these new challenges and appease consumer expectations at a lower cost.

Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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