Making Returns a Rockstar: The Desperate Makeover eCommerce Reverse Logistics Need

Returns have always been the uninteresting ‘meh’ part of the delivery conversation — the one you know you need to have but will avoid at all costs (quite literally).

In 2022, Zara spearheaded a “returns revolution” of sorts by becoming the first large retailer to start charging for online returns. They were followed by Boohoo, Abercrombie and Fitch, H&M, the latter making this decision on the heels of a disappointing quarterly report that sent the company’s share price plunging.

The returns – to charge or not to charge dilemma is not restricted to apparel and fashion; it expands to other sectors as more customers move their share of wallet to online purchases and use their home as a testing and trial room (as is no surprise since 2020).

While charging for returns is the logical and economical decision, what will complete this experience is a frictionless process. Customers are bound to expect a smooth, highly convenient experience especially when they’re spending money to process these post-purchase returns.

It’s also important to be mindful that 72% of customers say a hassle-free returns process is important in a repeat purchase decision (GFS-Retail Economics “Battling Basket Abandonment” whitepaper).

What could help make Returns a Rockstar of the post-purchase experience?

An important step to getting your groove on is to lay out a transparent and simple returns policy and process. Think straightforward language, one-click return labels and tracking info, all at the fingertips. Richard Lim mentioned in the Five Must-Have Delivery Strategies Masterclass, treat inbound with equal importance as outbound. To put it simply, it’s like online shopping but in reverse!

Zoe Donovan, Digital & Marketing Director, LK Bennett hits the nail on the head on what could be the best possible way to resolve the returns quandary for e-tailers in today’s climate — to manage and even, monetise returns especially if you are a small or mid-sized business.

Zoe Donovan from LK Bennett on Managing Returns

Zoe Donovan from LK Bennett on a seamless purchase journey

Parcel returns are no longer just a backstage act – they’re an increasingly important part of the delivery strategy conversation, of customer satisfaction, of establishing efficiency, and perhaps in the long run building an eco-conscious process.

The lesson here — while there will always be some “serial returners”, don’t let putting an end to free returns scare you; because it certainly won’t scare the customers off. On the contrary, eCommerce retailers must rethink returns to reduce abandoned carts, move inventory and drive customer loyalty.

All this sounds great, but is there an integrated process that can make returns run as smoothly as the purchase journey?

eCommerce Returns Simplified

Whether you choose to offer free eCommerce returns or start charging for them, you definitely need a smarter way of returns management, and GFS Global Returns Pro can offer you exactly that.

Simplifying your returns process means reducing costs, increasing efficiencies and offering a market-leading consumer experience.

Get More Information for the Smarter Way to Manage Returns

Talk to us