Logistics management can be a challenge for many e-tailers, but reverse logistics can be even more complex. This was made even more apparent over the last holiday season when Forbes predicted as much as 10% of all holiday sales were returned. By investing in your reverse logistics system, you can minimize the cost of the return process and recoup lost profit from the returned product. Plus, customers love a smooth returns process, so your customer satisfaction can increase as well. If you plan on revamping your reverse logistics system before the next holiday season, consider these solutions and strategies for process improvement:
Work closely with your logistics manager – this may be obvious for some, but the real first step to improving your reverse logistics is work closely with the vendor who manages your logistics. Make sure they understand the capacity levels they can expect throughout the year to help them prepare for any influx of returns.
Leverage logistics technology – a well-equipped fulfillment management system can give you the data you need to easily track returns and even automate parts of the process.
Recoup costs – Add an “outlet” section where your users can purchase imperfect or refurbished items at a discount. Amazon.com’s “Warehouse Deals” section is a good example of this. If a website expansion or item refurbishments are not feasible, you can always partner with a charity and donate returned goods. Not only can you help your community, but you can save on transportation and disposal costs.