Perhaps you are just now realizing that your returns management offerings are not really keeping up with the rest of your success, causing some major ill will between shoppers and your brand.

What’s a small business owner to do? Well, good returns management is just good business. Time to look into a reverse logistics team!

Reverse Logistics is Much More Than Returns

Although it’s often called returns management, reverse logistics is a lot more than taking in unwanted items and moving them back into inventory. In fact, for many businesses, especially those with eCommerce elements, their reverse logistics branches are huge contributors to the overall performance of their business.

These teams make return management work well in several ways, including:

  • Speeding up credits for customers. If you’re a shopper, you don’t want to wait forever for your credit, you want to replace your item as soon as you can. With as much as 40 percent of all merchandise bought online being sent back to the merchant, it’s vital that you have a reverse logistics team that can make those returns move faster than the speed of sound.
  • Finding problems in eCommerce listings. With the right questions and data analysis, you can often slow the influx of returns you’re getting. Your reverse logistics team should be able to handle Big Data, as well as knowing how to question, but not hassel, your shoppers to figure out if the problem is with the item or with the way it’s represented online.

    If the customer expected their top to be bright red and it was burgundy, that’s a shortcoming on your part, and one you can correct to reduce those returns.

  • Working with secondary markets. Not everything that comes back will do so either in time to be resold for full price or in a condition that will allow you to put it back on the real or virtual sales floor.

    Sometimes a smartphone is “DOA” or a pair of designer jeans is split at the hem. What do you do then? Your reverse logistics team should either be able to make the necessary repairs or have a relationship with someone who can. Either way, once the repairs are made, they’ll make sure you get top dollar by reselling the items on secondary markets, or forego the repairs and sell the items for scrap, whatever makes the most financial sense.

Your business is doing great, now that you’ve got a team working as hard on the backend as you are on the front. This is the most important thing to keep in mind in a world that’s increasingly digital. It’s one thing to sell a product, but you have to be prepared to take it back to really wow your customer base.