One of the primary reasons why online returns have boomed lately is the inability of consumers to inspect and try products in the store before purchasing. Being prevented from this privilege in online shopping, retailers found themselves obliged to adapt their businesses accordingly in order to sustain customer satisfaction and profitability.
Reverse logistics, as its name suggests, is an inverse process for supply chain management referring to the product lifecycle after being delivered to the end customer. It encapsulates: returns management, remanufacturing, packaging, recycling, and others.
Forward logistics handles the flow of products from factories to consumers. Direct order fulfillment, hub services, pick-and-pack services, and transportation fall under the umbrella of this traditional logistics process. While long-term logistics and transportation help retailers forecast demand, reverse logistics is arguably unpredictable. This is when the intervention of 3PL partners becomes crucial, as they offer hassle-free and customer-centric technology to help retailers turn this weakness into an opportunity.
A growing problem facing European retailers is the decline in warehouse availability. In 2020, along with the outbreak of the pandemic, the European warehousing vacancy rate decreased due to rising levels of eCommerce activities, especially in returns management. It is important to partner with a logistics provider that has easy access to warehouses locally and internationally in order to reinforce the reverse logistics process.
Poor tracking of profitability and a weak distribution model lead to a drastic failure with regard to balancing costs and incomes. Letting costs rise above the margin of profit is the most threatening consequence a business can witness. You need to bear in mind that as long as the value of your product exceeds the cost of shipping, you will be making a profit, if it’s not the case then you should re-build the whole fulfillment process. When planning your operations, always keep returns in mind; make sure you leave a realistic margin based on the normal standard of returns you’ll need to pick.
Investing in new cutting-edge technologies has been among the solutions that some retailers opted for in order to help their customers find the most suitable product and to ultimately reduce the probability of a package being returned. One example is the implementation of augmented reality (AR) in online purchases. Fashion and furniture retailers have developed an augmented reality app to visualize the disposition of a sofa within their room for example, or to virtually try out a dress. To tell the truth, it is a luxury that not every retailer can afford!
Known for its “you break you buy” policy, the mattress industry relies on the fact that; when you lie in a sleeping pad once, you won’t be able to return or trade it unless you’ll demonstrate a flaw in manufacturing. Until Casper, stepped in and changed that with its 100-night return and discount approach. Casper’s new policy has turned out to be a game-changing competitive advantage and a driver to showcase client loyalty. Casper works closely with UPS, which also happens to be one of Fulfillment Bridge’s partners, to track the reverse logistics process from distribution center to entryway, and planning on coordination so their claim staff can come in and offer assistance to clients.
In the midst of this hassle, Fulfillment Bridge thought of a hassle-free way to facilitate the reverse logistics process and to help retailers keep full control of their business. Our comprehensive solution includes a whole section dedicated to returns management. Under the same dashboard, our users get to track the whole fulfillment process, as well as reverse logistics. You just need to enter the required information (which only takes a few seconds) and let us take care of the rest. In fact, our multichannel warehousing makes returns management even smoother, as we get to change products on spot in these distribution centers without getting them shipped back to their initial destination. The returned products will be stored there until they get re-purchased again!
Hacking your fulfillment is a back-and-forth process that encapsulates forward and reverse logistics, both requiring constant tracking and real-time reporting. Fulfillment Bridge’s solution is designed for any-sized retails aiming to fulfill and return locally while retaining as many customers as they can.