Reverse Logistics Holiday Tips
Set your shipping strategy up for success by following these key reverse logistics holiday tips
With holiday shopping also comes seasonal returns, so it’s essential to prepare for holiday season returns as early as possible. While your business is working on getting products shipped, it’s important to remember to plan for future returns. With some simple yet effective reverse logistics holiday tips, let’s dive into how you can prepare for holiday season returns now.
What Is Reverse Logistics, and Why Is It Important?
The first step in your return policy plan is understanding what reverse logistics are and why having a reverse logistics strategy is essential. Reverse logistics refers to products and materials going in the opposite or reverse direction of the typical supply chain, from the end customer to the initial shipper or retailer.
For many businesses, such as eCommerce or retail stores, reverse logistics is part of more comprehensive return policies. Your small businesses need to focus on reverse logistics just like you do on the traditional side of shipping. This helps to complete the product lifecycle and to provide the best services to their customers.
Preparing for Holiday Season Returns
Did you know that 34% of Americans return gifts they received over the holiday season? That’s a lot of holiday returns, and making the return process simple and easy for your customers will help your brand stand out with a positive customer experience.
A study found that 97% of consumers are more likely to be repeat customers after a positive return experience, and 46% of those surveyed stated they typically returned between one and three gifts received during the holiday season. While an important goal of reverse logistics for small business managers or owners is to recover value from products that would otherwise hurt the bottom line, increasing your customers’ satisfaction is another priority to keep in mind when developing a well-thought-out reverse logistics strategy.
Business owners and managers must be prepared for returns to occur slowly after the holiday season. This happens as gifts are purchased and received, and the recipient decides if they want to return the item. A whopping 55% of customers return items a month after receiving them, which means they are typically produced in mid to late January. But is your reverse logistics plan prepared for this? Here are some helpful tips.
Simple and Effective Reverse Logistics Tips
Thankfully, planning for the rush of holiday returns makes it much easier to handle.
Be clear. Transparent return policies, repair processes, and recycling processes play a significant role in a successful reverse logistics strategy and help you maintain customer loyalty.
Remain flexible and quick. Flexibility goes a long way with customers, especially during the return process. Consider offering in-store drop-offs or contactless drop-offs for residents. Consider extending your return policy timeframe by a few weeks to accommodate the longer-than-usual holiday returns. Even though customers take their time, they expect a quick turnaround for returns.
Print or email labels. For any customer who can’t come to your store, offer to print and send or email the shipping label to them. Something as simple as this can make a big difference for your customers.
Can you resell the returned item? If the returned item is in good shape and like-new condition or still in the original packaging, consider reselling the item. If the item cannot be resold, can you recycle it? This will help you with your bottom line as well as help make your supply more sustainable overall.
Look at data. What does your year-over-year data show you about commonly returned items? If you see trends in certain items being returned more than others, consider why that may be happening and ways to improve it.
Work with a 3PL. A third-party logistics provider, like FreightCenter, can help ease the stress of reverse logistics for your business by helping you find the best carriers and the best shipping rates and giving you access to innovative technology.
Now that you know the importance of having a solid return policy and how it can affect your customer’s experience, we can help you manage the process. Let FreightCenter help you prepare for holiday season returns and execute your shipping strategy. We can help take the manual labor and guesswork out shipping products and returned items. Please find out how we can help you today and get a free online quote or call us at 8007167608.
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