Reverse logistics is sometimes the most complicated part of the whole order process, and there are so many things that can go wrong. For this reason, knowing what mistakes to avoid is the best way to make the return process easier, cheaper, and more efficient.
If you own a small e-commerce business that’s just starting out, here are the mistakes that you should avoid from the beginning:
1. Not having the right reverse logistics software
Not all reverse logistics software platforms are created equal, and just because you use one that seems to be working doesn’t mean you’re doing things right. Don’t settle for just any platform. Find one that has all the features you need plus some others that are designed to make things easier, such as warranty management.
2. Making the return process difficult
Don’t make the return process harder than it needs to be. Customers are happier with companies that make the return process hassle-free and are more willing to make another purchase despite not being satisfied with their last order. Hence, make the return policy as simple as it can be; pack the return label with the item and ensure that you have enough manpower to process these items in a timely manner.
3. Committing counting errors
Miscounting is fairly common for any business, but it shouldn’t be tolerated. Although human error is impossible to reduce to zero, making a constant effort to count accurately is crucial. Count and recount as needed at the most critical points of the returns process. If everything is accounted for, there will be little to no problems with your records.
4. Ignoring data
If more customers are returning items that are delivered by a particular courier, that courier may be doing something wrong. If there are a lot of customers returning a specific item because it’s “faulty”, it may be better to drain your inventory of that particular good. There is a lot of valuable data to be acquired from reverse logistics, data that you can use to improve your business in more than one aspect, so don’t make the mistake of ignoring it.
5. Using only a skeleton crew
If you want your returns process to be slow as it can be, use only a skeleton crew. Remember that the returns process is just as important as the initial delivery. Therefore, to avoid delays and ensure customer satisfaction despite the product return, hire enough manpower to process each return fast.
6. Lacking proper packaging
Packaging items properly is a proactive step to avoid returns due to damaged goods. Use appropriate packaging, pack items smartly, and ensure that all fragile items have proper labels. Even if an item is returned for a reason other than damage, having it in proper packaging will prevent damage during the way back to the warehouse.
Be proactive for both the initial delivery process and the returns process. By avoiding these reverse logistics mistakes, your small e-commerce business can avoid tons of returns during the first years of business and beyond, saving you a lot of money in the process.