The rapid growth of e-Commerce in domestic and international markets has driven e-Retailers to putting more emphasis on factors beyond just the quality of their goods. E-Retailers must now have a wide range of logistics processes, as well as increasingly-efficient delivery services. Having a competitive delivery service is key to retaining a loyal client base.
However, efficient and timely deliveries are not the only factors e-Retailers need to keep in mind. Beyond deliveries, return and exchange services that includes returning goods to their original manufacturers have becoming equally important. These reverse services have become especially critical for online retail shops success, and is partly why reverse logistics has taken on a bigger role in the logistics industry in supporting e-Retailers.
Reverse logistics is simply the process of planning, managing, and executing the return of goods to suppliers when they have sustained damage, are rejected or at the end of their seasonal shelf-life. Some goods are returned to their manufacturers to be repaired or re-manufactured. Additionally, goods are returned for proper disposition when found to be inefficient or expired.
Amplify Customers’ Satisfaction
Many e-Retailers often act as a go-between in retail business, serving between manufacturers and consumers. Therefore, most retail goods are shipped directly from and to manufacturers in cases of insurance claims, repair, replacement or rejections.
The combination of highly competitive business and consumers’ tendencies to prefer faster, modernized, and convenient shopping environments have upscaled expectations on what e-Retailers must provide. This puts pressure on e-Retailers to be come up with new purchasing processes with a safe and convenient payment method, as well as reliable and timely delivery service. Besides the need for satisfactory forward logistics processes; reverse logistics is another aspect of logistics service e-Retailers now find impossible to ignore. In reality, online shopping does not allow customers a chance to test or try on their purchases before placing an order. Many times, purchased goods are not true to their sizes, colors, or simply falls short in quality. Sometimes, goods arrive damaged or faulty, and this is where a good reverse logistics process become vital in fast return and replacement. This requires efficient reverse logistics management to satisfy and assure consumers of high quality service that can lead to more purchase and brand loyalty to particular vendors.
Besides being an important element to Business-to-Consumer (B2C) businesses for satisfying consumers and creating reliability; a reverse logistics service also plays an important role in returning goods from retailers to manufacturers.
For a Business-to-Business (B2B) case, reverse logistics services can manage the return of goods to their manufacturers when it comes to rejections, wrong deliveries, damaged goods, faulty products or replacements. e-Retailers should manage their reverse logistics service flow to maintain timely and efficient returns to manufacturers. However, one of the most common pitfalls among e-Retailers is the lack of expertise in reverse logistics management for manufacturer returns. This issue does not only delay and complicate the return process, but also add to vendors’ overhead in rejecting supplies, as well as stock mismanagement. Nevertheless, many logistics providers are beginning to offer expertise in reverse logistics services, which allows e-Retailers more options in managing their reverse logistics services more effectively. This helps ease e-Retailers’ burden in reverse logistics, and offer better cost management.
Minimize Overall Logistics Costs
Effective reverse logistics management can help e-Retailers by cutting down on their logistics costs. When goods are damaged, faulty or at the end of their shelf life; returning them to their sources can be carried out easily and efficiently. e-Retailers can save more on warehouse management, maintenance, and other relating costs while returned goods can be sent back for value-adding according to each vendor’s methods. Goods can be returned for repair, re-manufacturing, recycling or for repurposing parts for new products instead of goods being thrown out. Therefore, well managed returned goods can reduce industrial waste and cut down on manufacturing costs.
Returning goods for re-manufacturing, recycling or value-adding does not only increase material supply chain efficiency, but also allows e-Retailers to conduct business in a more environmental conscious manner by both repurposing and using correct disposal methods. Reverse logistics services can reduce industrial environmental effects, create a respected organizational image, and leave a lasting impression on clients.