The exponential rise of ecommerce shopping, for B2B and B2C consumer markets, has created many unique opportunities to increase sales and reach new markets. It has also created a unique challenge for retailers when someone needs to return a product. Returned merchandise has always been something that retailers must account for, but in the ecommerce space the volume has significantly increased, with an 8% return rate for traditional retailers and a 30% return rate for online stores. If you don’t have a reverse logistics platform to help your company process and manage these returns, it could be costing you a lot of money. Here are some key considerations if you are in the market for a reverse logistics solution.

1: Do You Build or Buy?

Sometimes it’s tempting to think that building your own reverse logistics software system will be easier than buying one, but in most cases the cost and time to create your own system is a waste. Even in situations where you have a unique product or returns process, an off-the-shelf platform with customization capabilities will satisfy your needs much faster than building one in-house. Buying a SaaS solution from an experienced reverse logistics provider also means you’ll get support and regular updates to the platform and won’t need to hire a team of in-house developers and support personnel to manage it.

2: End-to-End Logistics

The reverse logistics process is much more than just customer returns, so any platform you consider needs to help coordinate the entire process from start to finish. That includes a customer interface that makes it easy for your customers to initiate a return, as well as all the back-end logistics to track and manage an item after it is returned. The capability to follow items through repairs, restocking, resale on a secondary market, or disposal means you never discover wasted inventory weeks, months or even years later that should have been disposed of or resold.

3: Data and Reporting Capabilities

In order to fully optimize your reverse logistics process, you need transparent data that is easy to find and analyze. Whether you need to know the volume of returns your company is experiencing (and how that changes over time), where products go once they arrive back in your returns processing center, or how long it takes for items to get out of returns processing and to a final destination (resale, repair, or disposal), getting information quickly and easily means you can make informed decisions for your business and streamline workflows in the reverse logistics process. The right platform can also help you keep customers informed about the returns process, speeding up refunds, credits, and repairs, and improving customer satisfaction.

Check out the ReverseLogix platform today to find out more about just how beneficial a reverse logistics software program can be for your retail business.