Reverse logistics shouldn’t be a term that’s new to anyone in retail today, but it seems that there are still businesses that are hesitant to officially put a reverse logistics plan into play.
It’s almost as if not doing it will somehow curb the crushing wave of returns that are a part of eCommerce in every sector. Instead of ignoring, denying or simply procrastinating about returns management, it’s time to embrace it and learn how to use it to your advantage.
Reverse Logistics Can Create Extra Income Streams
You know that not every item that comes through your facility is going to be perfect and there’s always a risk that said items will be damaged in transit.
It only makes sense to have a returns processing team in place to handle the inevitable merchandise homecomings. Beyond simply keeping customers happy and providing them with an absolutely excellent customer experience, being ready for the items that are being returned can be a path to new income streams.
Instead of throwing away that iPad that was DOA, your reverse logistics team can connect with a refurbisher and get it up and ready to go again. Or, for really serious cases of DOA, the same team could recycle that product for the value in its components. You simply don’t have to eat these losses anymore. All you have to do is find channels where your less than perfect merchandise can be sold on the secondary market.
Creating a Greener Imprint Impresses Customers
There’s another angle to consider, depending on your customer base.
For many companies, the ability to embrace a greener attitude also helps increase sales and drives up customer loyalties. Not moving your defective products straight to the local landfill makes them feel like you’re a steward of the environment, and that your company has the same concerns about pollution and waste management that they do.
There’s also a very real possibility that manufacturers and retailers alike will soon be responsible for the cradle-to-grave life cycle of every product that crosses their doors. This means you’ll be expected to maximize the use of every item, even defective ones, until they can no longer be useful within the circular economy. Implementing greener reverse logistic practices today not only saves you money, it makes you look like a hero to your shoppers. And, if you do have to bear the responsibility for those products one day, you’re already practiced and ready.
Reverse logistics matters so much to your business today and will continue to be a vital factor going into the future. From extra revenue to extra great environmental PR, your returns management team is a great way to really impress in today’s retail world.