Reverse Retail: Disrupting online selling

Reverse logistics has been around for decades, although the whole concept may not have a lot of press or enjoy the popularity of all the other business related services.  It is usually presented as any process related to the reuse of products and materials after they have been used and/or sold.

In recent years, in keeping with the 21st century, it has sharpened its focus on its position in the e-commerce market.

From the time it was first introduced, reverse logistics has played a key role in industries such as high-tech and automotive, as well as industries with overstocks, end-of-life products, and parts requiring refurbishment for resale.  The increasing challenge in reverse logistics today is the growth of returns resulting from the rise of e-commerce at the consumer level. Consumers knowingly order more products and different sizes because they understand that the return will not cost them. 

They also know that when their product has ceased to be of use to them, reselling or recycling it for a different purpose is becoming increasingly resourceful and easy.  The Gone! app is a clear example of the this kind of customer to product relationship advance.

 The key for a proper use and advantage of reverse logistics, is to fully understand that e-commerce is not just about delivering goods to a customer.  That’s just have of the cycle.  Reverse logistics becomes very important to business for many reasons.  Just to name a few:

  • Customer Retention

A customer who is able to return or exchange with little pain is likely to be a satisfied customer. And a satisfied customer is likely to be a customer for a long time.

  • Regulation Compliance

When reverse logistics results in damaged goods, it leads to waste. And there are regulations relating to waste, especially e-waste. This proves that reverse logistics is not just about customer delight; it has to do with aligning oneself within the legal environment of business.

  • Profitability Through Asset Recovery

If your ecommerce business does not have a sound reverse logistics plan, it is probably losing out on the golden opportunity to profit from the piles of goods that fell out of the supply chain. In an era of wafer thin ecommerce margins, effective reverse logistics could be the difference between being profitable or not.

These are just a few reasons that illustrate the importance of planning an effective reverse logistics strategy, which will most definitely help any business.  So, no you know; the challenge to pay attention to the other half of the product-user highway is clear.


Jenny at Gone

Jenny is Communications Director at Gone! follow her on twitter at @jennifertch

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