Risks of Always Including Returns Labels, Part 2

Risks of Always Including Returns Labels, Part 2

In part one of our two-part blog series recently, we went over some of the issues retailers face with UPS and other entities’ stated policy of always including returns labels in every package. In part two today, we’ll go over how consumer attitudes drive home the point that this universal policy may have to be re-thought in many situations.

At ReverseLogix, our reverse logistics software can help you streamline your returns processes. Here are the basics you need to know.

Consumer Attitudes

In 2016, UPS’s Pulse of the Online Shopper report gave some good insight on what customers value within their returns experience:

  • 60 percent said free shipping
  • 51 percent said a hassle-free returns policy
  • 42 percent said timely refunds
  • 44 percent said easy-to-print return labels
  • 40 percent said having a return label already in the box

When one takes a closer look at this, it’s clear this data doesn’t line up with UPS’s own stated approach to including a return label in every box. It’s clear customers don’t care that much – in fact, more customers care about having an easy-to-print label than those who want one in the box. And when you combine that with how problematic this approach is for retailers, which we’ll go over again in our next section, the choice often becomes clear.

Retailer Issues

Here are the issues facing retailers when a return label universally included in the box:

  • No idea if or when a return is coming, so returns receiving departments cannot staff properly
  • No ability to enforce returns policies without damaging customer relationships
  • Little or no data on why the item is being returned, or gets this data so late that it’s not valuable for future returns

Better Approach

Instead of doing this, retailers need to automate their returns using return management technology. These allow customers to identify items being returned, easily generate returns labels, choose their shipping method, send the package and get a refund quickly, and select product-specific reason codes for their returns that help vendors identify the issues behind the return.

For more on how our reverse logistics software can help here, speak to the pros at ReverseLogix today.