The way people shop has drastically changed in the past couple of decades, and with the e-commerce industry has also come a shift in the way people interact with companies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the reverse logistics space, where the number of returns has increased but the customer expectations around companies accepting returns and processing them quickly and efficiently have also increased.
Meeting Customer Expectations
The role of customer experience director (which goes by many names in many companies) is a critical one; this person is not only in charge of creating a good shopping experience online or in stores, but also ensuring the support and service they receive after the sale are top notch. Companies that fail in these areas see the swift retribution from an angry customer online, which can harm your business in the short and long term.
For that reason, reverse logistics—the reversal of your supply chain to accept returns and process them quickly and efficiently—is something that many customer experience directors want to get right.
A Competitive Advantage
Having a solid reverse logistics plan in place, and the software that can help goods flow smoothly back into your company to be resold, recycled, or disposed of can put you at a significant advantage over your competition. Simply refusing to accept returns is no longer viable, especially in a competitive landscape where retail giants like Costco or Zappos (whose director of business development Sean Kim famously said that, “Services is not an expense; it’s an investment”) have expanded the parameters on returns, creating a standard that customers now expect from every retailer. But many small- and medium-size businesses have been slow to implement reverse logistics, which means that doing so can give you a competitive edge.
A 2018 Narvar consumer survey found that the top reasons people avoid purchasing from a retailer online include:
- Paying for return shipping (69%)
- Restocking fees on returned items (67%)
- Difficulty finding information on the return or exchange policy (33%)
Reverse Logistics Platforms Make Returns Easier
For a small or medium business, returns processes can be a challenge. That’s where a reverse logistics platform can help. Technology that makes it easy for your customers to initiate a return and allows you to track it through the entire process means you can offer the return policies people want. Having solid returns processes also allows you to restock or resell items when appropriate to avoid losing money on returned goods. If you absolutely cannot resell the products, your reverse logistics platform can track it to recycling or disposal so it’s not taking up space in your warehouse.
In addition, a comprehensive reverse logistics platform can provide you with data on things like commonly returned items and the reasons for return. Identifying trends in the data can help you improve your products, website, and sales process to reduce total returns in the future.
The right platform can provide you with cost reductions, efficiency in delivering products to your customers, and—best of all for your customer experience director—happy customers that are likely to shop with you again in the future and recommend you to others. Find out more about ReverseLogix platform and how it can help your business today.