Preparing for Returns in a COVID Holiday Shopping Season
E-commerce retailers have had a big year. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the globe, companies with the ability to sell products online saw a dramatic increase in sales. Online shopping giants like Walmart and Amazon have posted eye-popping sales numbers, but even smaller retailers have benefited if they can offer delivery or curbside pickup. This trend is projected to continue into what will likely be a very unique holiday shopping season.
However, increased returns from online shopping is also likely to increase. In fact, Salesforce predicts that shipping companies like USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL will add about $4.5 billion in shipping surcharges this holiday season, and there will be more returns because consumers will order extra gifts to hedge against delivery delays related to COVID-19. For retailers, that means it’s time to evaluate your returns management processes and software before the onslaught begins.
Get Returns Management Software in Place Now
If you don’t already have a returns management solution, or your current one is not meeting your needs, right now is the time to find a better one. Most of the holiday returns are not likely to occur until after December 25, so you can spend the next two months purchasing, implementing, and tweaking your system so you are completely ready. Look for a vendor that offers:
- Cloud-based solutions so you can access your data from anywhere at any time
- Streamlined reverse logistics workflows and simplified processes
- Industry-leading reporting features to help you manage your entire process from start to finish
- Modular solutions to build over time as your company grows or your needs change
- A simple user interface for your team and your customers
Create Simple Returns Policies on Your Site
Once you have your returns software in place, make sure your public website has all the information for them to initiate a return on your site in a place that is simple and straightforward. Put clear information about exactly what your returns policy is, and links to customer support. A significant portion of consumers won’t shop on a site that doesn’t offer returns, and they usually prefer free returns if possible so make the information visible and clear.
Keep Your Team Safe
As you implement protocols in the workplace that make it safer to be at work, such as social distancing or work-from-home measures, it’s more important than ever to have a reverse logistics platform that offers streamlined and integrated communications. This helps your team communicate, follow progress, and stay on track to keep returns moving through the system even when they can’t be in close proximity to each other. Get a reverse logistics platform that makes this team communication simple and easy to keep your people safe.