Getting this right will bring a whole host of benefits, including lowering your total cost of ownership, freeing up time for other operations, increasing your customer experience and improving your brand image.
Optimizing the First Mile:
Optimizing the first mile is an essential step towards reducing your overall lead time. The quicker returns arrive back at a local distribution center, the better. For your customers, they will be able happy to receive their refunds faster. While for your business, costs can be saved as value recapturing services may begin quickly and the process of reselling can begin.
Flexibility and smart solutions are key to implementing an efficient first mile in your returns process. Cycleon can help you with both as we combine both IT and logistics to optimize returns, end-to-end. Within our existing transport, warehouse and carrier networks, we can facilitate flexible solutions on both a local and global scale.
Offering your customer convenience is what will encourage them to shop with you again. We also know that this will encourage shoppers to return unwanted items sooner, helping speed up the lead time. Here, is where omni-channel should be embraced. Make it easy for customers by encouraging multiple ways for them to return with various postal carriers, in-store, via drop off locations, or through a pick-up service. This will ensure that your returns flow works for every customer’s budget and lifestyle.
Tackling a Returns Backlog:
Witnessing a backlog of returns is a common issue, especially during peak times such as Christmas holidays and Black Friday sales. If these returns are not effectively registered and received, often they are left in warehouses to depreciate. Items are often in sellable condition, which could otherwise be re-routed to be resold.
The longer returns are left to depreciate, the less value can be retrieved from these products. Causing a loss in profits from the original sale. Additionally, by failing to smartly redeploy returns, you may be missing sales opportunities and heightening the chance that the stock will end up as waste. This may also eventually harm sustainability efforts.
Optimizing warehouse activities not only reduces lead times, but also ensures that returns may be inspected, graded and then smartly routed to where their value is best maintained.