Returns management is often cited as the poor relation of the eCommerce economy – but it doesn’t have to be this way. And with UK online returns estimated to reach £5.6bn by 2023 – it’s time to pay attention and take action. 

Here are some bite-size facts to help you take control of the process and focus on what matters.

  1. Brand Reputation
    15% of customers who give a retailer a one-star TrustPilot review do so due to a negative returns process experience.
  2. Margin Erosion
    Manufacturers spend up to 15% of their total revenue on returns management.
  3. Revenue Loss
    Research estimate that 52% of items returned are not fit for reselling at full price.
  4. Serial Returners
    30% of shoppers deliberately over-order with the intent to return; digital natives are the worst offenders (48%).
  5. Free Returns
    Shoppers expect free returns as standard, 18% cite this as a critical factor for choosing a retailer.
  6. Operational Inefficiencies
    57% of retailers cite returns as hurting their daily operation.
  7. Returns Policies
    68% of shoppers review a retailer’s returns policy before making a purchase.
  8. Self Service
    79% of shoppers who have shipped a return went online to process the return and print a label.
  9. Sustainability
    Returned products contribute close to 4 billion pounds of waste annually in the US. Not to mention the carbon footprint of items that are fit for reselling, as they move through a system of intermediaries and reselling networks.
  10. Wardrobing
    20% of UK shoppers admit to buying items to wear once and return.

These indisputable facts reveal the consequence of retailer’s success in making the shipping process more convenient and affordable for shoppers. However, this approach is not sustainable without access to the right tools and resources. 

Creating the right returns management strategy

Pivoting from a linear shipping process to a circular strategy is dependent on many factors.  So, whilst you figure out the next steps, the most crucial action you can take right now is to integrate returns management within your entire shipping progress.

Multi-carrier management systems like SmartConsign support both outbound and inbound logistics from a single platform. The system is cloud-based, easy to install and requires no training. It’s the natural next step for ambitious eCommerce businesses of every size.

 

Sources

https://martechseries.com/sales-marketing/customer-experience-management/post-purchase-issues-contribute-half-retailers-one-star-trustpilot-reviews/

https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/id/pdf/2017/08/id-future-proof-reverse-logistics-2august.pdf

https://home.barclaycard/press-releases/2019/05/retailers-rethink-returns-policies-as-increase-in–serial-return/

https://home.barclaycard/press-releases/2018/06/return-to-sender/

https://solutions.ups.com/rs/935-KKE-240/images/UPS-Pulse-of-the-Online-Shopper-2017-Volume-5_Retail_Fundamentals.pdf

https://www.webretailer.com/b/return-fraud-amazon-ebay/