The holiday season is a time of giving and receiving; UPS alone is anticipating delivering about 750 million packages. However, if you work in retail, it is also the unenviable time of mass returns and exchanges. According to the 2017 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry report, “Total merchandise returns account for more than $351 billion in lost sales for US retailers.”
Aftermarket services are a critical part of the “customer economy” and operating flawlessly can increase revenues and help with customer retention. However, in a recent survey of retailers by ARC Advisory Group and DC Velocity, less than half (42%) have the ability to measure the full financial impact of returns.
With supply chains evolving to become competing networks of partners, there is opportunity for companies to leverage Supply Chain Orchestration platforms to achieve additional competitive advantage. Gartner recently wrote a report that investigated how supply chain networks are integrating with each other.
E-commerce leaders such as Amazon and Warby Parker have created competitive advantage with advanced logistics, shipping, and returns processes, building fanatically loyal and high value customers. The trends in consumer e-commerce are penetrating into B2B, where customers expect the same flexible service, ease of use, and multitude of delivery and return options.