Find out how to use reverse logistics in your exchanges and returns
Do you know what reverse logistics is? Learn more about this process and how it can facilitate exchanges in your e-commerce.
All about reverse logistics
Do you know what to do when a customer requests exchanges and returns on your e-commerce?
In physical stores, this problem is solved in a very simple way. At the service counter itself, the buyer can request the exchange of a faulty product.
Once he indicates the problem that brought him back to the store, he can receive immediate attention and also a refund or a new product without further delays.
However, in e-commerce, the physical distance between customers and sellers represent a barrier that, in a way, brings a higher feeling of anxiety to the buyer.
Contrary to what happens when we buy in a physical store, in internet sales the customer is unable to test the product, read the packaging, among other attitudes that provide greater security at the time of purchase.
This insecurity is one of the main reasons that lead to cart abandonment in e-commerce. And, in order to prevent this from happening, your company must adopt reverse logistics to guarantee success in all exchanges and returns and also give more peace of mind to the buyer.
In this article, we will help you understand more about what is reverse logistics, and how to implement it in your e-commerce!
What is reverse logistics?
What we call reverse logistics is actually the reverse process of delivery. That is, sending the order from the customer’s home back to your store or an outside supplier.
This method is used for exchanges, returns and recall actions in e-commerce. But it has also become quite popular among companies that are investing in environmentally friendly packaging return and the correct disposal of used products.
How does reverse logistics work?
To make it easier, we will analyze the entire process of purchasing a product through e-commerce.
The customer purchases through an e-commerce platform, such as Delivery365. The sale takes place entirely online and the delivery is carried out by a third party delivery person.
However, when receiving the order at home, the customer realizes a problem with the product and contacts the store, requesting the exchange.
The seller then starts the process by asking for some basic information, such as:
• The reason for this request
• An address for this exchange
• Best time to receive the appointed delivery person
This information, of course, depends a lot on the profile of consumer you attend to and the type of product you sell. In addition, it will also depend on your exchange and return policy.
To facilitate the withdrawal of the products in question, you can ask the customer to print out and fill a simple form or a label with your delivery address and other pertinent information.
However, that same form or label can also be handed to the delivery person who will be in charge of the withdrawal.
In addition, depending on the product, you can also redirect the delivery not to your store, but to another location, such as the supplier or even a technical assistance shop.
In such cases, make sure that the provided address is correct, and that the customer has been informed of this redirection.
Exchanges and returns policy
This document establishes guidelines for replacements or refunds. It must be clear, objective, and available on your website at all times during the shopping process.
This way, you inform the consumer about the cases in which the exchange is guaranteed, and which lead to a full or partial refund of the amount they paid for the product.
This is a measure that brings even more reassurance to the customer. In addition, it facilitates the exchange process and reduces costs for your company.
Once the exchange or return request is in accordance with the established policy, the product’s withdrawal is requested. This can be performed by an autonomous, third party delivery person.
According to your established policy and the merchandise sold, you can offer the customer:
• The delivery of a new product on the same trip – the delivery person picks it up at your store, taking it to the address indicated in the request. There, he removes the defective order and takes it back to your store, therefore finishing the process.
• Replacement with a new product, to be delivered on a date and time to be set with the customer. This option is ideal for goods that require a previous analysis of the malfunction reported by the customer, such as electronics.
• A refund, according to the payment method used in the purchase.
• A store credit, to be used by the buyer.
Acting quickly is the key to a good customer experience
In case of problems with the order, the shopkeeper must act quickly, to calm the consumer and guarantee their satisfaction.
Delays in the exchange process or inability to return or refund are fatal for building a good relationship between your brand and first-time buyers.
Reverse logistics ensures the speed of the exchange process. Because it uses the same delivery mechanisms, it’s the best way to make returns for those who work with e-commerce.
It exempts you from spending with post office fees, reducing freight costs. It is so because the withdrawal of the product is included in the same trip in which the delivery person will carry out the fractional delivery of other orders.
Advantages of reverse logistics
For the customer, the main advantage of reverse logistics is undoubtedly the convenience of not having to go to the post office or a physical store.
By ensuring that the defective object is withdrawn at their home, you are reducing consumer anxiety. This is an important step to guarantee the success of the process, and increase the chances of retention.
As stated earlier, consumer uncertainty is one of the cornerstones of e-commerce in all sectors.
By offering reverse logistics, you reduce this uncertainty. The guarantee of a smooth exchange is an important differential for the customer to choose your brand, and not that of the competition.
In addition, by offering a satisfactory experience, even when counting the problem with the product initially received, you increase chances of having your e-commerce recommended for other potential consumers.
Another advantage for your company is the cost reduction with shipment of defective goods. However, for this reduction to be effective, you must not forget to plan your exchange and return policy well.
Focus on process quality
Remember that reverse logistics is an important process to reduce costs and please the customer, but the ideal situation is when you don’t need to use it.
Pay attention to your customers’ main complaints. Set up a spreadsheet indicating the reasons for requesting exchanges and returns, and the amount spent on each of these replacements.
With this data in hand, you have two valuable pieces of information for creating a return policy and implementing a reverse logistics process: the processes where your e-commerce fails to please the customer, and the costs generated by those failures.
Let’s say that, among the main reasons for exchange, are the divergence of information, damages during the packaging or delivery process, or simply because the buyer gave up on the purchase.
Armed with this information, you can start taking action by modifying your ads to include information relevant to the customer.
Reinforcing packaging and redoubling attention to the order to reduce errors are also very simple ways to reduce the incidence of returns.
Find out about the current consumer protection laws and build your policy in order to reduce the cases of reimbursement for withdrawal.
Be transparent to win over more buyers
It is essential that your company is transparent in all processes, to ensure customer satisfaction.
Make yourself available to answer questions, starting from the buyer’s first contact with your e-commerce.
Respond messages quickly and sympathetically, always leaving the impression that yours is a serious and safe company, at all times of purchase. This is the best way to win over the customer and increase the chances of sealing the deal.
The ideal for the best customer experience is that your e-commerce has a service professional.
If possible, this professional should be trained in all instances of the purchase process, from product announcement to delivery logistics.
In this way, you reduce the divergence of information in serving different sectors, and increase the speed and efficiency in the exchange of messages.
Sell more and win new customers!
If you want to increase sales in your e-commerce, and win more and more customers, bring your business to Delivery365.
It is a smart, effective and intuitive e-commerce tool that will facilitate the bridge between your online store and your audience.
Delivery365 is the ideal application to facilitate all processes, from product announcements to delivery. All of this with hundreds of third-party couriers always ready to take your goods anywhere.
Keep an eye on our blog for more information, and other tips that will help your e-commerce expand more and more!