In order fulfillment, the term “logistics” refers to the process of coordinating and moving products or merchandise from a point of origin (typically a manufacturer, retailer, or supplier) to a final destination (typically the customer). However, for various reasons the final destination isn’t always final, and the consumer will decide to return what they ordered. Therefore, the term “reverse logistics” refers to the process of moving products or merchandise from their typical final destination back to the point of origin.
Why is reverse logistics necessary?
Why outsource reverse logistics?
With 92% of consumers saying that they are willing to buy something again if the return process is easy, it is crucial for retailers to have a streamlined, seamless reverse logistics system in place.
The various phases of a successful reverse logistics process can include the following:
- Communicating with, and providing an excellent level of customer service with the consumer who has initiated the return.
- The physical shipping, receiving, and processing of the returned product.
- Examining the returned product to determine whether it is damaged, or if it could be resold.
- Determining what to do with the product. Not every product that gets returned needs to be (or should be) thrown away and considered a loss. Many can be repaired, restocked, recycled, or disassembled and sold for parts.