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November 14, 2019 - By :

Challenges With Reverse Logistics for Ecommerce


In the world of online shopping, making returns hassle-free is crucial for brands. Enter reverse logistics, a set of processes that handle products after a sale. In this guide, we break down the basics of reverse logistics, tackle challenges faced by e-commerce brands, and share tips for an efficient strategy.

Understanding Reverse Logistics:

Reverse logistics is like a backstage process that kicks in after a product is sold. The 5 Rs—Returns & exchanges, Reselling returned products, Repairs, Recycling & disposal, and Replacements—are the key moves in this dance. Brands like H&M encourage customers to return clothing for recycling, promoting sustainability and loyalty.

E-Commerce Challenges:

Switching from in-store to online shopping, especially during the pandemic, brought a surge in returns, like trying different sizes (bracketing). For online brands, an unprepared supply chain can become a problem, highlighting the need for a smart reverse logistics strategy.

Getting Started:

Crafting a good reverse logistics strategy means having the right tools and setup. Barcodes, scanners, and handling systems are like the instruments, while Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) helps share information smoothly. The steps include processing, handling, moving, repairing, and recycling.

Simple Metrics:

To know if the strategy is working, check simple metrics like volume, costs, product condition, value, and errors. Customer feedback adds a nice touch, giving insights for improvement.

Smart Moves:

Overcoming challenges means having a good supply chain setup for tracking. Logistics systems can automate tasks, like generating return labels. Centralizing return locations and outsourcing to a 3PL can also save costs.

As more people shop online, having a solid reverse logistics plan is a must. Simple planning, using the right tech, and teaming up with logistics partners is key. A well-thought-out reverse logistics strategy not only helps with returns but also keeps customers happy and supports sustainable practices. In the online shopping world, brands with smart reverse logistics are set for success.

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