Reducing Lead Times to Optimize your Returns Flow

Reducing Lead Times to Optimize your Returns Flow

    • Do you have a returns backlog?  
    • Overwhelmed by customer service requests? 
    • Looking for support during peak times?  

These are all issues that retailers commonly face with returns management. Finding solutions to these complaints can save your brand both time and money. That’s where Cycleon can help! With years of experience in reverse logistics, we understand that reducing lead times is key to optimizing any returns flow 

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. 

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Handling Customer Service Requests:   

Long waits for refunds or information about the status of a return can be frustrating for customers. To ensure that refunds can be issued as quickly as possible you need to offer clear communication channels with customer service.  

That’s where working with a returns management expert, such as Cycleon, can help. Our online portals and communication channels, with track & trace and messaging features, encourage customers to reach out online first. Offering them access to the data on their returns makes it less likely they’ll seek direct contact through customer service. Reducing the workload for your teams, which are often costly to run. 

As a returns partner, we can take care of customer service requests, leaving retailers with the extra time and money to invest in outbound operations.   

Coping with Peak Volumes:  

Once you’ve secured shorter lead times it’s important to maintain these, even during peak season. Your customers will have grown to expect a certain turnaround time, and delays may harm their image of your brand.  

This is where the existing network and experience of a returns partner comes into play. Making sure that all the above features can perform just as well during busy periods.  

Cycleon has experienced these challenges before and has the knowledge of how to overcome higher returns volumes and an increased demand on the logistics network.   

If you’ve got questions about how best to handle your consumer returns, are facing a returns backlog and want to reduce your lead times, Cycleon is here to help! Get in touch with us to discover our smart solutions that help brands build a custom and future-proof returns flow. 

Want to learn more about how Cycleon can improve your returns process?

CONTACT US!

Check out more of our posts

Reducing Lead Times to Optimize your Returns Flow

Reducing Lead Times to Optimize your Returns Flow Do you have a returns backlog?   Overwhelmed by customer service requests?  Looking for support during peak times?   These are all issues that retailers commonly face with returns management. Finding solutions to these complaints can save your brand both time and money. That’s where Cycleon can help! With years of experience in reverse logistics, we understand that reducing lead times is key to optimizing any returns flow.   Getting

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Engaging with Marketplaces Through Returns

Engaging with Marketplaces Through Returns

Engaging with online marketplaces is a great way to grow your brand and expand in new markets, both faster and with less effort. Selling through marketplaces can widen your consumer base by introducing your products to new audiences through existing and familiar platforms. 

 

To secure these benefits it is important that your returns flow can integrate with various online marketplaces and their existing setup. Here’s where working with a returns management expert, such as Cycleon, can make this process easier. By providing existing solutions that are marketplace and returns policy compliant. Including returns management software and easy integrations, marketplace preferred postal carrier networks and KPIS in-line with marketplace requirements.  

    • Save time and money
    • Optimize your returns process
    • Access expertise and gain knowledge of the latest market trends
    • Simplify the process of integrating in new markets and with new marketplaces

Establishing & Growing Your Brand in New Markets

We understand that growing in a new market is both an exciting yet complex task. A process which takes a lot of time, money and resources. As your partner, our services and existing network can help your business flourish and nurture a better channel strategy. Whether this be in an existing market, a new area, or both. 

Expanding in a new market requires forward-thinking. Our experience in global reverse logistics means that we offer a solid knowledge of market trends. Investing in a future-proof returns flow, which works for both you as a brand and aligns with marketplace processes, is a costly process. A process that, if not optimized, may become cost-draining. If done well however, a strong and easy to sustain returns flow will save you money in the long run and help you to protect your bottom line and retain profits. 

Ensuring that Customer Experience is Upheld 

We understand that customer satisfaction is key. Happy customers will recommend your brand to friends and family, boosting your public image and increasing future sales. That’s why our returns solutions are catered to both retailers and their consumers.  Transparency and communication with your customers are an important step to securing customer loyalty and satisfaction. Bonding your returns solution with those of marketplaces requires the technical integration of online tools and software that reach out to communicate with customers. This often includes the status of returns, refund requests and track & trace functions. 

Solutions to Integrate your Operation with Marketplaces 

So, you’ve secured a deal to sell through an e-commerce marketplace – what next?  It’s time to integrate your brand and logistics chain with that of the marketplace. This too can be tricky without existing experience or expert help. It involves not only logistics, but also warehouse activities and online software programs. All the while, your customer experience should be kept in mind.  That’s where our well-established global network can help out. We not only have existing engagements with postal carriers and warehouses locations, but we accommodate a number of technical integrations for online software. For example, we offer a standard API to be easily consumed by ecommerce platforms, ERP systems and CRM systems such as: 
    • Manhattan 
    • Oracle 
    • Microsoft 
    • Magento 
    • Shopify 
We also offer customizable webhooks to update these systems with required data. This includes tracking, refunds, return reasons, location and payment. Whether you need assistance with technical or logistical integration with marketplaces, we’re here to help and advise on the best option for your brand and goals.  In short, engaging with online marketplaces can be a springboard to establishing and growing your brand within new regions. This is a process that should be invested in, as it increases revenue channels, brand exposure and consumer reach. Although, as mentioned, this process can become complex and perhaps a cost-drainer, if not done effectively and efficiently.    Reach out to learn how we can create a custom solution to help your brand develop in new and multiple regions. 

Want to learn more about how Cycleon can improve your returns process?

CONTACT US!

Check out more of our posts

Reducing Lead Times to Optimize your Returns Flow

Reducing Lead Times to Optimize your Returns Flow Do you have a returns backlog?   Overwhelmed by customer service requests?  Looking for support during peak times?   These are all issues that retailers commonly face with returns management. Finding solutions to these complaints can save your brand both time and money. That’s where Cycleon can help! With years of experience in reverse logistics, we understand that reducing lead times is key to optimizing any returns flow.   Getting

Read More »

Engaging with Marketplaces Through Returns

Engaging with Marketplaces Through Returns Engaging with online marketplaces is a great way to grow your brand and expand in new markets, both faster and with less effort. Selling through marketplaces can widen your consumer base by introducing your products to new audiences through existing and familiar platforms.    To secure these benefits it is important that your returns flow can integrate with various online marketplaces and their existing setup. Here’s where working with a

Read More »

Product Returns for Slow Fashion Brands

Product Returns for Slow Fashion Brands Ecommerce continues to boom with no end in sight. The past year has seen online sales increase by almost 50%, largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has introduced new audiences and created new dependencies on ecommerce. Fashion retailers have witnessed this digital transformation first-hand.  It is widely acknowledged that the consumption of fashion products has a negative impact on the environment. Largely through the manufacturing process, where vast amounts of materials and

Read More »