January 07, 2014
U.S. consumers were expected to spend $602 billion during the holiday season and 2013 returns were expected to reach around 10 percent of overall sales. That means over $60 million of merchandise is heading back to stores.
<p>Reverse logistics costs the industry billions of dollars each year in the handling, shipping, insuring and processing of returned products. By implementing a comprehensive reverse logistics plan, shippers can simplify the process for both themselves and their customers. They can also cut costs and minimize waste.</p><p>Industry research shows that companies investing in reverse supply chain improvements saw a four-fold decrease in cost per return. They also saw a 12 percent increase in customer satisfaction.</p><p>Reverse logistics plans are not a one-size-fits-all, and different companies will need a different approach.</p><p>Reverse logistics can integrate returns into a company’s overall supply chain strategy and warehouse management system instead of allowing returns to remain a stand-alone process.</p><p>By integrating forward and reverse logistics in the same facility, companies can drive efficiencies into the returns process. Reverse logistics can also include testing, re-packaging and refurbishing products, and reconciling payments and credit.</p><p>Shippers and their partners can also gain efficiencies by using technology to track and automate returns, saving time and expense.</p><p>To best meet their needs, shippers can consult with their logistics and transportation providers, making them partners in the process. That allows logistics providers to have a better understanding of necessary capacity and resources.</p><p>Creating a comprehensive plan may become more important as e-commerce continues to increase. While online shopping is on the rise overall, it is especially high during the holidays.</p><p>Holiday e-commerce sales were projected to increase 15 percent. Those sales should generate $61.8 billion in sales during November and December alone, and $262.3 billion in sales for the full year. By 2017, there will be $440 billion in sales.</p><p>Not only are buyers turning to online shopping sites, they’re visiting them from their mobile devices. Mobile commerce sales might generate $41.68 billion of the total $262.3 billion of e-commerce sales for 2013. By 2017 mobile commerce sales are expected to easily exceed $100 billion.</p><p>Industry research shows that more than half of consumers surveyed said they had returned merchandise to an online retailer, and most shoppers expect their purchases to come with a pre-paid shipping label to facilitate returns.</p><p>Penske Logistics offers a variety of ways to help your business with reverse logistics. Visit <a href="https://www.penskelogistics.com/">PenskeLogistics.com</a> for more information.</p><p align="right"><i>By ”Move Ahead” Staff</i><i></i></p></div>
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