During the pandemic-related lockdowns of 2020, U.S. ecommerce sales totaled $565 billion or 14% of all retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation. Returns from those sales doubled year over year totaling $102 billion.
The best way of preventing the hassles and expense of returned goods is to stop them from coming back in the first place.
The reverse logistics industry focuses much attention on how to extract as much value as possible from unavoidable returns: Repairing or refurbishing goods for resale through alternate channels or use as warranty replacements. Harvesting good working parts for economical repairs. Selling items to salvagers. While these tactics are vital to controlling costly returns, it’s equally important – if not more so – to address the root causes of why returns are being made.
Here are some considerations for businesses to try to keep more products with the buyers:
Even with strong product support on the front end, some percentage of defectives will naturally make it through to end users. At this point the goal should still be to keep the brand in the home by enabling rapid repairs by maintaining an adequate supply of service parts.
In sum, the more difficulty consumers have with a product, the more likely they will return it and avoid that particular brand in the future. It’s critical to examine the product lifecycle and identify opportunities to keep the product in the home.
For more information about Encompass and how we can help your business with reverse logistics or other supply chain needs, please visit www.solutions.encompass.com.