Reverse Logistics In Ecommerce: What It Is And How To Manage It?

Reverse Logistics In Ecommerce: What It Is And How To Manage It?

Reverse logistics, challenge or opportunity? With the unstoppable rise of e-commerce, the management of returns and exchanges by consumers has also increased considerably.

The reasons why they start are multiple and vary according to each business. Therefore, it is important to undertake a task of introspection after each return. Otherwise, what could become an opportunity will end up being just a problem.

So, is it possible to successfully tackle reverse logistics? What issues must be taken into account so that it is developed without extra costs for companies and consumers? It can be avoided?

These are some of the questions to be resolved in the following article.

What Is Reverse Logistics?

Simply put, reverse logistics is the process through which a product returns to the factory or warehouse from which it was shipped.

It is not a new issue, much less derived from electronic commerce. It has existed for a long time, except that when it is produced in an online store.

It should be noted that the return or exchange is a right that is included in the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users. According to this standard, they have “a mandatory minimum return period and can enjoy a long warranty period of up to 2 years.”

Therefore, it is not an issue that companies can or should ignore. The sooner you take it into consideration, the better. And, just as specific strategies are developed to offer a fast, efficient and safe shipping service, correct reverse logistics must be guaranteed.

Types Of Reverse Logistics

When we talk about reverse logistics, it is important to keep in mind that there are different types. Below we will comment on the two main ones:

On the one hand, we have the most traditional and challenging: returns. Good because the product does not fit what the consumer was looking for, size error, it arrived defective…, etc. In this type of reverse logistics it is crucial to listen to the customer and offer personalized solutions.

The second is waste logistics, that is, recovering the product with the aim of reusing it (in its entirety or its parts) or to prevent it from contributing to environmental damage. This type of reverse logistics is increasingly common in sectors such as electronics or fashion, in which this action also helps reduce raw material and production costs.

In any of the cases presented, the key is to optimize the collection, transportation, classification and storage process. So that it does not hinder or generate extra costs for the company, quite the opposite.

Strategies To Take Into Account To Avoid Extra Costs For Returns

The lack of a return strategy is the main reason why reverse logistics generates high extra costs for many companies. Sometimes it is not about having great resources, but about effective solutions.

Below we will present 4 strategies to take into account for effective management:

  • Creation of an outlet section . An effective solution to reduce or even avoid the accumulation of products in warehouses, as well as giving a second useful life to those that may have been discontinued.
  • Develop an effective replacement campaign. When what the customer wants is a change, we recommend processing the collection and delivery of the new product at the same time.
  • Restoration or reconditioning of a damaged product for its subsequent sale for a price slightly lower than if it were new. A strategy in which we can even find specialized companies.
  • Reuse or recycling of obsolete or damaged products. Especially interesting for technology companies as it is a way to have raw materials without extra costs.

As we can see, it is about analyzing how this return affects our company and how it can become a resource and a new opportunity.


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