Returns processing, also known as reverse logistics, in ecommerce is just as important as a sale. If your return process is difficult or leaves customers frustrated, that event can lead to lost future sales from those customers. It can even lead to a bad review on social media which is a brand killer.
On the other hand, a good experience lead to customer loyalty. Think about it. Your customer orders your package, tracks it and then it arrives damaged or it is the wrong item. Major disappointment. But even at this point, you can still redeem yourself with an efficient and organized returns process.
What customers want is a hassle-free experience whether it is a refund or exchange. They also want to track their return or exchange. And they want the experience to be quick. Obviously, an easy return is what you need to strive for and a fulfillment provider or third-party logistics provider (3PL) can help you do just that.
Product Fulfillment Includes Product Returns
Many online sellers are so focused on increasing sales for outgoing orders that they lose sight of the importance of their returns process and how it can impact your revenue. Most fulfillment providers offer comprehensive return logistics program ensures that there is minimal merchandise waste or product shortages. They can also provide superior customer service when processing your product returns for inventory stock.
Reverse logistics should be viewed as the part of the supply chain process. It involves the business of returning and repairing to exchanging and refurbishing products. When it comes to fulfillment, equal attention must be given to all aspects of the sales cycle course. Consider product return. Your policy may be to not accept certain items back into inventory. In this case, a fulfillment provider can ship these returns to you for refurbishing, retooling, or re-packaging, allowing you to recover part, or maybe even all, of the original order’s value.
Fulfillment providers offer product management and operational efficiencies to help reduce rates for return reasons that range from inferior quality and delivery delays to product backlogs and errors or misrepresentation of a product. Keep in mind that Internet sales orders are returned at a higher frequency, so solid returns process ensures that you minimize loss of revenue and product stock on your product sales.
Returns Can Bolster Customer Relationships
It is important to not overlook the reverse logistics aspect of the sales cycle. Product returns provide one more point of contact with customers. They provide and should be treated as an opportunity to create a positive, bonding experience with your customers. The role of the fulfillment center can provide product delivery from start to finish, including delivery to the end user or processing a product returned by the purchaser, thereby making the product available for another customer as quickly as possible.