Reverse logistics

The process of moving goods from its point of consumption back to its point of origin for reuse or disposal

When those size 11 shoes you ordered online turn out to be too small, you’ll do what millions of people do each day: return them.

It is believed 30 percent of goods bought online end up being returned. For online retailers, an efficient and hassle-free returns management process is vital to customer satisfaction.

A combination of e-commerce vendors offering a “try-before-you-buy” policy, and Instagram’s outfit of the day hashtag (#ootd) has been driving further returns. A recent survey revealed that 9 percent of UK shoppers buy clothes just for their social media posts before returning the items.

The processes involved in returning goods from the consumer to the point of origin –for replacement, refurbishment, recycling or clean disposal – is termed as reverse logistics.

Also known as an aftermarket supply chain, aftermarket logistics or retrogistics, reverse logistics encompasses warranty returns, reconditioning of used goods, packaging reuse, rental equipment returns and items returned for repair and maintenance.

Accepting returns may not seem like an obvious opportunity to generate profits for a company, but there are genuine opportunities for savvy businesses to recapture value.

To mitigate its losses, Best Buy, for instance, lists in-store returns on its website, enabling re-purchase from all of the retailer’s shipping locations.

The reality is that effective returns processes create new options for possibly refurbishing used goods for sale, recycling or safely disposing products.


Contact our retail experts to discuss your reverse logistics needs today.


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