E-Commerce Reverse Logistics is Something You Must Consider as you take your Products Online
If you run an e-Commerce store or are thinking about putting your manufactured, re-manufactured, or distribution catalog online, product returns are unavoidable. Reverse logistics in an e-commerce environment is a challenging part of your business. Customer service is essential to getting and keeping your online customers. The handling of your customer product returns is an essential component of your customer service program.
In order to effectively deal with product returns you need to ensure you are addressing not only the needs of your customers, but also the needs of your company to ensure you are minimizing the cost and impact of the returns on your company since they can have a very significant impact on your profits.
The goal of this post is to help you to assess and improve your e-Commerce Reverse Logistics. To assist you to better understand e-Commerce Reverse Logistics, this post starts by outlining some key e-Commerce Reverse Logistics facts and findings. The report then outlines an e-Commerce Reverse Logistics Framework you can use to assess and analyze your operations. Each key item of the framework is discussed in detail to outline the key issues and review some best practices examples from some of the best know e-Commerce companies.
Do know that a lot of the research around e-commerce is centered around retail, or direct to consumer. There are not yet a ton of information on manufacturers and distributors who ship larger freight that is better suited for less than truckload or full truckload quite yet, but the strategies of the customer experience and e-commerce reverse logistics will still have the same trends and applications.
E-Commerce Reverse Logistics Facts and Findings
A considerable amount of research has been performed to understand e-Commerce buyer behaviors. From this research, a considerable number of findings have emerged related to the customer’s ability to return goods.
“Merchants will need to pay close attention to building return policies that are customer friendly,” said Paul Bates, vice president of Information Products Group for BizRate.com. “Online buyers tell us every day that the key to winning their loyalty is the level and quality of customer support.” (Source: Bizrate.com Survey). Other relevant findings from the BizRate.com research are:
• Eighty-nine percent of online buyers say return policies influence their decision to shop with an e-retailer
• The three leading products returned were clothing (27 percent), computer software (20 percent) and books (15 percent).
• Certain attributes of return policies can actually drive potential customers away. These include:
o the inability to receive credit on a credit or debit card (85 percent)
o time limit to return products that is “too short” (68 percent)
• Other attributes that online buyers consider important are:
o whether the merchant allows products to be returned by mail (66 percent)
o the ability to exchange a product for another item (58 percent)
o Sixty-two percent of consumers said they would prefer to return products by mail instead of traveling to a brick-and-mortar store.
E-Commerce Reverse Logistics Framework
In order to assess and analyze your e-Commerce Reverse Logistics you need to understand the key components for effective e-Commerce reverse logistics.
Adam Robinson oversees the overall marketing strategy for Cerasis including website development, social media and content marketing, trade show marketing, email campaigns, and webinar marketing. Mr. Robinson works with the business development department to create messaging that attracts the right decision makers, gaining inbound leads and increasing brand awareness all while shortening sales cycles, the time it takes to gain sales appointments and set proper sales and execution expectations.