Reverse Logistics

Written by Linda Alexander
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Reverse logistics is the process of planning and implementing the flow of goods from the manufacturer to the consumer, in reverse. In other words, it is customer returns. It is a process that many brick and mortar retailers have under control and for which many pure Internet businesses are unprepared.

Barriers to Reverse Logistics

It's interesting to note that the biggest barrier to reverse logistics is not technology. Studies have shown that a lack of a good system is the primary reason customers have difficulty returning items. Businesses simply do not give enough of a priority to the successful handling of customer returns. They are often unprepared for it.

Businesses often start out not knowing the amount of volume they can expect, so they handle fulfillment manually. In the beginning, their focus is more on marketing and building website than on handling returned products. Often, online retailers have multiple vendors so the process of returning items becomes even more complex.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Third party logistics companies can handle reverse logistics as efficiently as they handle the logistics going forward. A good provider will help you set up and implement a system that makes it easier for customers to return or exchange products, and get a refund. That, in turn, will keep them happy and encourage them to shop with you again.


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