The Value of Local Operations
for an Optimized Returns Flow
04 MARCH 2021
Local operations are essential to securing seamless global returns. A flow that satisfies consumer demands, saves time, costs and is environmentally friendly. Regional functionality is more important than ever before, with 58% of consumers expecting completely ‘hassle-free’ returns as the norm. Especially during the past year when the rise of e-commerce transactions, as a result of Covid-19, has prompted higher return volumes across the board. Local logistics and warehouse facilities have helped retailers with returns by offering an existing setup that is easily scalable to increased volumes. At Cycleon we have a network of 30 local return centers and work with over 200+ supplier and vendor partnerships worldwide to offer clients tailored returns solutions. Read on to learn why we regard local operations as essential to any reverse logistics strategy.
An Existing Setup: Efficiency Through Established Partners
An established network of local reverse logistics operations offers turnkey return solutions for brands. Making it easier to expand in new markets and reach new consumers. It also reduces the complexity of improving services in existing markets. For example, using postal carrier partners to offer more options for customers living in remote areas, or expanding warehouse activities in a current facility.
“The convenience of an existing setup is beneficial for both retailers and consumers. Brands can improve and expand their returns flow with ease, a capability that has a direct impact on customer experience.” – Arjan Kleinveld, VP Operations, Cycleon.
The value of an existing returns network has been highlighted further this past year with the arrival of Brexit. A development that we understand has challenged many retailers trading cross-border between the UK and EU. Raising new and costly demands related to customs regulations and shipping data especially. Retailers with access to established partnerships with local warehouse facilities, postal carriers, transport providers, and customs experts have been able to handle these new demands with more ease.
Easy Scalability: Rising to Increased Parcel Volumes
An existing returns set-up also means that operations can be scaled-up when needed. This is much quicker than co-ordinating a new returns process from scratch. Partnering with a returns management provider, such as Cycleon, optimizes this further by taking the complexity of returns out of retailers’ hands. Aligning all stakeholders under one IT platform and managing all supplier contracts.
The ability to scale-up quickly and easily is even more important in the light of the e-commerce boom of 2020. As a result of Covid-19 public health restrictions, more people than ever before have turned to online shopping to fulfill their consumer needs. Some areas, in particular, saw huge increases in the use of e-commerce from before the pandemic. Studies have interestingly shown that over 70% of first-time customers who received a positive returns experience would shop with the same brand again.
Being able to reach customers in these locations to offer the same consistent experience for returns has been vital for brands over the past year. With the popularity of e-commerce set to stay, this will be a focus that remains to attract new shoppers and build customer lifetime value.
Local Returns Processing: Receive and Verify Items Quickly
Returns processing capabilities that are already up-and-running in local warehouses ensure that returned items are able to be handled fast and seamlessly. Activities such as item receipt, verification, sorting, product checks, and storage, ensure that returns are handled quickly, and are not left to depreciate in value. The quicker this process can happen; the faster customers can receive refunds.
Regional operations also allow for a shortened first-mile, reducing transport volumes and journey lengths. Not only does this shorten lead times, but it’s also more sustainable. By avoiding unnecessary long-haul transport, brands can reduce the CO2e emissions associated with their returns flow.
Hytech Logistics, Ireland
To highlight the value of having a local returns operation, we’d like to introduce one of our partners who have helped us to facilitate successful and customer-friendly regional solutions for our clients, Hytech Logistics.
In line with the e-commerce upswing in 2020, Ireland witnessed a +400% increase in e-commerce use. Through our collaboration, and Hytech Logistics’ existing local facilities and services, we’ve handled these increased volumes well, and have also navigated the challenges presented by Brexit, also in the region. Focusing on local returns operations to avoid unnecessary transport and customs checks, while also encouraging local re-fulfillment opportunities.
“Hytech Logistics are delighted to partner with Cycleon in Ireland. Through this partnership, we will be introducing a leading global e-commerce returns management platform to many leading brands operating in the Irish market.” – Stuart Burke, Managing Director, Hytech Logistics
“We’re excited to be extending our partnership with Hytech Logistics after a successful term of cooperation, to ensure that we continue to offer our clients a top returns experience in the Irish market.” – Alissa van Wijk, Logistics Manager, Cycleon
Hytech Logistics provide a wide range of supply chain solutions to global markets through intelligent collaboration, robust processes, and selective partnerships. We manage and protect your brand end to end through our seamless forward and reverse supply chains.