A good returns management is strategic for the efficiency and profitability of your company
Your company may be very efficient in its outbound logistics management, but reverse logistics is another matter. It requires procedures to:
- Facilitate reshipping by the customer
- Forward the returned product
- Identify and verify the product upon its delivery at your warehouse
- Recondition, restock, or recycle returned products
- Replace or refund returned orders
And all this quickly, seamlessly, and painlessly for your customer.
Most of today's return logistics solutions involve multiple actors: a digital interface, a last mile carrier to pick up the product, a forwarder, a warehouse equipped for verification and restocking, etc. If the various steps are not well coordinated, it can easily lead to delays, lack of visibility not only for your customer, but also for you, which can ultimately seriously impact your reputation and profitability.
Inefficiency has a cost that can be significant. The cost of processing a returned item is estimated to be between $20 and $45, so it's important to have a good return strategy in place. Streamlining reverse logistics operations speeds up the returns process to get items back on the shelf quickly and improve customer satisfaction. The main efficiency levers you should consider:
- A user-friendly interface on the brand's website for requesting a return, printing a return slip, choosing between refund and replacement, and declaring the reason for the return
- A flexible return solution that allows the package to be dropped off at the post office or a collection point, or to be picked up at home
- An efficient and transparent tracking system for customer service relief and optimized inventory management
- Quick return to market: optimized inspection process, repackaging and restocking, especially for seasonal products
- Customer data collection throughout the purchase and return process to anticipate next steps (refund or replace) and feed your continuous improvement strategy
Because having multiple providers can be a source of confusion or mistakes, there are now new integrated solutions that can adapt to your particular needs.