According to the location data advertising firm, inMarket, Kohl’s experienced a significant boost in its in-store traffic following the launch of the Amazon Return program. The retailer began offering free returns for Amazon products without a box, tape, or label in July, and within three weeks, foot traffic rose nearly 24 percent. To understand how Kohl’s visitation patterns were affected by Amazon returns, inMotion conducted an inSights Report using anonymous location data from over 50 million Comscore-verified active users.
A breakdown of the data shows a 17 percent increase in shorter visits lasting under five minutes. inMotion Chief Marketing Officer, Cameron Peebles says these “micro” trips were most likely from shoppers who came into the store to make an Amazon return and left without really looking around. Trips lasting around 6-15 minutes saw a 15 percent increase, which may have led to some purchases, although inMotion admits that Amazon Prime Day returns may have impacted longer wait times at Kohl’s. But luckily enough, the longer visits (defined as those lasting more than 16 minutes) rose by 14 percent, indicating a potential sales lift for Kohl’s. Peebles says shoppers who stick around that long are most likely going to be making a purchase.
Approximately 1,150 Kohl’s locations across 48 states are on board with the return program. And, as of right now, only two other stores offer the same service: Whole Foods and The UPS Store. Peebles says he expects Amazon will be looking to add more retailers to its roster after the mutual success of the Kohl’s partnership. Not to mention, it might help the e-commerce giant get some people off its back.
"Kohl's has no interest in making Amazon more money," Peebles told Business Insider. "But they made a strong business case that these people coming in to make Amazon returns are going to stick around and shop. And it seems, based on foot traffic, that it's working."