Industry views | 11 February 2019
By Paul Durkin, Director Home & eFulfilment
To most of us, buying things online is now a fundamental part of the way we shop. From groceries to clothes, there’s very few things you can’t order online and have it delivered right to your door within days.
The last mile, that final part of the entire delivery process to put the item in your hands, has always been a profitability challenge to retailers. But recent innovations, developments and processes have improved massively on previous standards. To the point where you can now, in some cases, get one-hour delivery.
But delivery is only part of the eCommerce story. The other side, and the trickier part, is getting those items back through the system if returned.
In a recent report, it was discovered that 89% of consumers check the returns policy before they make a purchase online. Consumers not only want quick and easy delivery, they always want to be assured of the same easy experience should they wish to return their item. Matching the delivery experience with the returns experience is a major challenge. The processes and mechanisms for delivery are not set up to just reverse the process.
So how can retailers not only meet the returns expectations of their customers, but also limit the financial impact on their own business?
Whatever solution the retailer uses to get the products back, what they do with them from that point is how they can really reduce the financial impact.
In my next article I’ll look at how innovative returns services and programmes, such as those offered by our partner ZigZag, are making a success of the returns challenge.
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