How to process returns quickly, easily and efficiently
March 21, 2022
E-commerce has changed the way companies sell. But shipping products to global customers brings with it a number of challenges, not least the logistical nightmare of product returns.
What do we know as reverse logistics?
Reverse logistics, also known as returns management, is the supply chain process that guides inventory back to the retailer's warehouse.
For example, if a customer returns a T-shirt they ordered from your e-commerce store, reverse logistics will return unwanted inventory to your store for resale, reuse, recycling or refurbishment.
The benefits of having a reverse logistics process in place
E-commerce returns deserve the same attention as outbound shipments. Let's take a look at why an effective reverse logistics process is critical for e-commerce brands.
About 21% of a company's logistics costs are spent on inventory management. Reverse logistics offers cost savings because it resells saleable items, discards other items and frees up storage space.
Increased customer satisfaction
No matter where your inventory is located, customer loyalty is important. The return experience is just as relevant as the shoppers' experience when purchasing products through your online store.
Today's shoppers aren't just interested in price and quality. Modern consumers want to know that the brands they buy are sustainable.
How to implement a reverse logistics process
The reverse logistics process should be fun for everyone involved, no matter how many customers return to your business.
Choose a returns channel
The first step is to determine how a customer sends product back to your warehouse. Options include:
- Return to Store
- Package Pickup Stations
Determine your return policy
A return policy explains the criteria an order (or product) must meet to qualify for a refund.
Not only can this minimize sending products back to the warehouse that you can't refund, but it can also increase your online store's conversion rate.
Have a designated space to handle returns
Once items are back in your warehouse, create a dedicated workspace for inventory processing and verification.
Hopefully this article can help you understand how to process returns for your eCommerce.