The customers of today do not think twice before sending the goods back. The reason behind this is generous return policies, increased consumer expectation and competition in the market. Returns have forever been a part of business cost but now growth in volume of returns has propelled need for more players in the market to manage the cost of reverse logistics. Nobody enjoys receiving returns. The suppliers are actually the worst hit as they have goods being sent back to them from all channels retailers, wholesaler customers and even e-commerce sites.
Given below are some of the strategies which are being adopted by the suppliers to better handle reverse logistics:
- Superior return policies– Retail segment is under constant pressure to keep up with ever increasing volume of returns. As companies make easier for customers to return goods problems are actually rising spirally. Even though generous return policy is a part of game to earn new customers, companies are now taking steps so that abuse of such policies stops. Some companies are actually closing accounts of people who keep returning goods without reasons. For low cost items, return policy has been stopped because replacing the goods eat away the profits drastically.
- Entering into collaborations with the retailers
In the past the onus of returns was only borne by the manufacturers. This was a step to ensure long time association with the client and maintain goodwill. But now manufactures are entering into agreements with the retailers and allowing them to accept and exchange products on their behalf. They can even refuse return if this wish. So, basically it become the job of a retailer whether it wishes to have a return policy or not or what kind of return policy is he or she comfortable with.
- Third party vendors to handle returns
A lot of people are in search for third parties who will handle the return process for them. This way it becomes very easy for them to handle the inventory. The efforts are always to expand the profits and minimize the costs which are entangled in returns. A lot of manufacturers are now making use of the IoT, sensors etc to repair different products and reduce the need for the customers to send them back. So basically outside parties are trying to put a curb on return process.
- Re- thinking the return process
Return process for items such as furniture, television sets etc is too cumbersome. These items are not just difficult to pack and assemble; they are too heavy so returning them is a big issue. Companies are now re-analyzing the reverse logistics company for such products as this is actually putting them amidst financial quagmire of sorts. Search is one to establish new infrastructure which will aid existing facilities.
So, these are some of the strategies which are being put in place by the suppliers in order to handle reverse logistics.