What Happens to Your Returned Items? The Answer Could Give You a Competitive Advantage

Gain a competitive advantage by managing returns and the reverse logistics process effectively.

For many retailers, the decision of what to do with your returned items is a difficult one. Some items can easily be restocked and resold, some can be sent back to the original manufacturer, but others that are damaged, out of season, or unsafe to resell have to be discarded. The question of what you do with your returned items can actually give your company a competitive advantage, if you have the right tools in place to track and manage the process.

Advantage: Better Disposition Flow

When you receive returned items, they have to go through a process within your company to figure out exactly what you are going to do with them. That process may involve just a couple of steps (like examining it for defects and returning it to the warehouse, then issuing a refund to the customer) or it may involve several steps. For example, an item that you are planning to return to the manufacturer or vendor (RTV) for a defect may require you to examine it, fill out forms, package it, ship it, and track your refund from the vendor.

With such a high volume of returns today, things can easily get lost in the shuffle. When that happens you risk angering a customer waiting on a refund, missing an opportunity to resell an item immediately at a higher price rather than selling it on clearance, or making a mistake that results in the inability to get a refund from your vendor. Those are costly mistakes for your business.

Reverse logistics software can eliminate these errors, providing a better flow of items from initial return to final disposition in multiple channels.

Consumer Demands for Eco-Friendly Disposition

Consumers are increasingly demanding more of retailers, and one of the areas where they are putting pressure is on product disposition. While it’s inevitable that some products will be thrown away eventually (especially after they are returned), companies that have more options can reassure customers that they are doing their part to reduce landfill waste and other harmful things from improper disposition. Sustainability is a big deal for many consumers, and often plays a pivotal role in their decision to do business with a company. Showing that you do your part to recycle or reuse returned items, or reduce waste in your reverse logistics process (what industry insiders call the “circular economy”) can help you stand out from competitors and win over more customers.

Reverse logistics software can help you better identify the correct and most eco-friendly disposition channel for returned items, and provide the necessary logistics to get the items to their destination.

Find the Right Software Today

If you want sustainability and the reverse logistics process to be a competitive advantage for your company, talk to ReverseLogix about how our industry-leading reverse logistics software can help you manage the supply chain for a more sustainable future.