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With the rise of e-commerce in the retail sector, the rate of returns has increased manifold over the past decade. As retailers are now forced to implement customer-friendly returns policies, the high returns handling costs and other challenges of reverse logistics can give retailers a tough time. Reverse logistics often proves to be particularly challenging due to factors including uneven product quality, lack of clarity over disposition options, and erratic inventory management practices. One of the key challenges of reverse logistics here is that it takes almost a dozen steps more to process returns that it does to manage reverse logistics.
During the COVID-19 crisis, it is critical for companies in the retail market to take calculative and well-executed measures to ensure business continuity in the long run. Request a free proposal to know how industry experts at Infiniti Research can help you plan and create comprehensive action plans to navigate the crisis.
In this article, experts at Infiniti have curated some key strategies to ensure an optimal reverse logistics process:
Kiosks for omnichannel returns: The proliferation of omni-channel retail is one of the main reasons why retailers are in the need to enable omni-channel return processes in their business. Top retailers are even going to the extent of opening small kiosks to return goods that have been sold online. The returned products are then sent to a regional processing hub, followed by the retailer’s fulfillment centers, and finally the goods reach third-party logistics companies or liquidators.
Reverse auctions: This is a reverse logistics technique that is used for the secondary sales of the merchandise that has been returned by a customer. In the case of B2B returns, implementing a private auction space for returns liquidation ensures greater visibility and control over processes. It also helps retailers identify and work on performance improvement gaps.
Flexible return portions: Just like the purchase process, retailers must aim to make the returns process hassle-free and as easy as possible. This can be achieved by giving customers the opportunity to process their returns through on-demand mail or even collection and drop-off at a store in the convenient location. This kind of flexible return options will help retailers increase their online sales and gain a delighted and loyal customer base.
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