In an age of worldwide competitive pricing and free shipping, it can get very costly to have to absorb the costs of returns and other reverse logistics. Limit costs and increase customer satisfaction for returns and everyday expenses with some of our reverse logistics tips and tricks:
Be Transparent with Product Descriptions
The best way to cut the costs of free shipping and returns is by eliminating them altogether. Online orders are prey to buyer’s remorse as customers are unable to handle the quality, compare the size, see the exact color, or feel the weight of the product sitting on a shelf of a brick and mortar location. So be as precise with your descriptions and fair as you can with photos. Inaccurate portrayals lead to a higher rate of return.
Another tool to increase your detail and points of view in a product description is the consumer rating. By allowing honest reviews of your product, customers will have a diverse understanding of both the best and worst qualities before you invest time and money getting it to them. Taking consumer feedback when you do receive returns can also help identify issues that will reduce your return rate.
Use a 3PL
3PL providers pool the resources and the needs of many businesses. This allows them to offer cutting edge technology, a vast distribution network, and a streamlined experience for businesses. Working with a third part logistics company can cut costs on all sides in addition to reverse logistics while decreasing the time management necessary for your supply chain.
Invest in a Circular Supply Chain
When your supply chain sends products out, the trains, trucks, and planes used to get them to their final destination still have to come back to your warehouse before they can move more product. Supply circles take advantage of what is typically downtime for a delivery vehicle by bringing parts, supplies, raw materials, and, yes, returns back with them to keep another vehicle from needing to make the same one-sided journey. Supply circles are also great catalysts for more sustainable logistics practices like returnable totes programs that can save your business money on packaging costs.
Offer the Best Price
In addition to weeding out buyer’s remorse, online retailers need to grapple with sources of competition that spread the globe. The best way to ensure your customers won’t return a product is by making sure they can’t get it somewhere else cheaper. That way, even if a customer is surprised by the quality of the product, they can feel rest assured that they got the best deal.
Partner with Retailers
Many businesses will partner with retail giants like Walmart, Target, or Best Buy to sell through their online marketplace. This will get you access to their clientele, but it also affords you their ability to accept returns in their stores. Not only does this decrease your reverse logistics, but it could potentially help your customers save on return shipping costs as well. And you can still control your own ecommerce logistics.
Logistics planning is complicated. There are thousands of small choices to make, and each can cost your business big. Add in the need for reverse logistics, and there are twice as many factors to consider. Feeling overwhelmed? Let the experts take care of it, and you can focus on what makes your business great.