Logistics are complicated. On the one hand, you want to give customers the best experience possible. On the other, you need to manage costs, maximize efficiency, and somehow keep your carbon footprint as small as possible. These are all tough tasks, but they’re achievable when you optimize reverse logistics.
How can you do it?—By adopting better technologies and working with better partners. The kind of tools that give you clearer visibility across your shipment network and the kind of partners who know how to ensure your success.
Customers who are kept ‘in the know’ are less likely to be frustrated by delays—the less frustrated a customer is, the less likely they are to make a return. For that reason, make a commitment to clear, proactive communication a cornerstone of your reverse logistics strategy.
From fulfillment mishaps to carrier exceptions, the more proactively you can address issues, the more understanding your customers will be. Long term, this will reduce your customer service costs, amplify satisfaction, and lead to fewer returns.
Clear, proactive communication can cut WISMO + WISMR in half.
When it comes to staring down winter storms and the holiday shopping rush, it pays dividends to have partners you can trust.
From logistics partners who can help with physically getting presents down the chimney and under the tree, to technology partners who unlock end-to-end return visibility and make it possible to intelligently update customers proactively—knowing you don’t have to “go it alone” during the holidays makes the logistics process so much easier.
Are you routing your returns in the most efficient way possible?—Probably not.
Reduce your shipping and freight costs by using better intelligence to route your returns to the right warehouse, distribution center, or brick-and-mortar.
In addition to cutting costs, better routing rules and policies will allow you to resell your products with greater ease, improving your revenue retention in the process.
Return miles saved by ONE retailer once they optimized their reverse logistics with intelligent routing.
Consolidating shipments is a no-brainer way to optimize reverse logistics because it cuts costs and reduces package travel when done correctly.
While it’s not perfect for every retailer, those who deal with: Non-perishable soft goods (e.g., apparel), items that are not time-sensitive (e.g., bedding), and/or a high volume of returns (i.e., at least 300 per day) should seriously explore the viability of consolidation.
In addition to all the fiscal benefits of consolidation, it’s also the most environmentally friendly way to deal with returns—a fact that’s pretty important in this ESG era.
To ensure your reverse logistics are as efficient as possible, you need to make the most of your shopper data—the better your data, the more effectively you can optimize processes and lower costs. Moreover, a smoother process improves the customer experience, increasing satisfaction and lifetime value.
Of all the data inputs you’ll want to collect make sure you require customers to provide return reasons. Understanding why customers are bringing products back today, can help lower returns volume tomorrow (and protect future revenue in the process). Use returns reasons to identify product defects, inaccuracies on product detail pages, shifting consumer tastes, and more.