No one really wants to have to deal with returns, but the reality is that if you’re selling something, some people won’t get it quite right on the first try.
For online retailers, as much as 30 percent of your sales may ultimately come back. There’s no single solution to help slow the bleed, but you can make the best of your returns management and focus on how good reverse logistics pay you back right away.
Customers Love Good Reverse Logistics
Returns are inevitable, so you might as well use them to build a stronger relationship with your shoppers and inflate your reputation as a business that’s easy to work with.
According to ComScore, about 63 percent of customers review your returns policy before making a purchase. If your policy is lacking, or you’re lacking a policy, it can spell disaster. But, for brands that have customer-friendly returns policies, these are a few of the ways they can pay you right back:
- Improving customer goodwill. The customer experience is everything these days. After all, your products are likely also sold by other vendors, so you have to have something extra that makes people want to use your business above all others.Giving customers a good experience by throwing in little things like smart labels or instant refunds can be a huge thing, even enough to create lots of enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
- Fueling future purchases. Any time a shopper uses a new shop, they’re hesitant, especially if the vendor is more clicks than bricks.If your first order doesn’t go exactly as planned, but you make it right quickly and with no roadblocks, those customers will be more comfortable buying from your shop in the future. And they’ll tell their friends that you can be trusted. It’s a big deal for a little reverse supply chain magic.
- Getting products back to resell. When your returns policy is easy for the customer, you can count on recovering more money out of each item that’s being returned.Items that arrive back at your facility in perfect condition because they arrived in the wrong color, for example, can immediately go back into inventory, giving you another chance to sell them for full price. Items that aren’t as perfect will still recover more of their value the sooner they’re sent back to you because they’re still in style and up to date.
Good returns mean good business and lots of goodwill between you and your customers. If you don’t have a dedicated reverse logistics team, there’s no time like right now to add one to your supply chain. Your favorite 3rd party logistics companies often offer returns management for less than you would pay an in-house team and they’ll handle those returns per your specifications without having to be trained from scratch.