The world of return logistics explained simply: here's what you need to know

The world of return logistics explained simply: here's what you need to know
Jonas van de Poel
Jonas van de Poel
Content Writer
Posted on
January 26, 2023
Table of contents
The Returnista Post
Get practical tips from eCommerce experts and learn all about the new returns world
Get it too

Return logistics is a part of logistics that is often overlooked, yet is of great importance for your online store. It deals with the process of products being returned by customers. 

Returns can occur in various ways, such as defects, wrong orders or dissatisfaction with the product. In this article, we will elaborate on exactly what return logistics entails, its purpose and why it is becoming increasingly important. We will also give some examples of good return logistics.

Return logistics: what exactly does it entail? 

Return logistics is the process of products being returned by customers. This process begins when a customer decides to create a return label and ends when the product is back in stock, resold or needs to be recycled. 

There are several parties that can help you offer return logistics - here you can think of DHL, PostNL or DPD. Each of these parties have different advantages and disadvantages

What exactly happens to your returns from the time of submission? 

From the moment a customer returns a product, the process begins. The first thing that happens is that the product is received and checked for its condition. This is often done at a returns department within the company or at a third party that handles this. 

Parties like Monta, Active Ants & Picqer are solutions to process returns (or have them processed). It is then determined whether the product is still saleable. If it is, the product can be resold. If the product is defective or damaged, a check is made to see if the product can be repaired or if it should be recycled.

The purpose of return logistics explained concretely 

The goal of return logistics is to process and reuse returned products as efficiently as possible. This can mean reselling, repairing or replacing products. 

This prevents products from being wasted and can generate revenue again. It can also give the company a better image with its customers, as they see that the company handles returns responsibly. 

It is advisable on the returns section of the website and the packing slip to concretely share the steps of the returns process; but also to indicate how you as a web store deal with returns. The more transparent you are, the better it will be for customer loyalty

Return logistics is becoming increasingly important because of these reasons

The world of return logistics is becoming increasingly important, due to the growing trend of online shopping and customer expectations. 

More and more people are buying products online and therefore expect an easy process for returning products. Companies must therefore ensure a good returns process so that customers are satisfied and come back again for repeat purchases.

In addition, sustainability is becoming increasingly important to businesses and consumers. Return logistics can contribute to sustainability by reusing products instead of wasting them. There are several options in the market to offer "green" returns through Homerr, for example.

Examples of good return logistics

Here are some examples of reverse logistics best-practices

1. Loavies 

Loavies has an optimized return process where customers can easily submit a return request and use a barcode on their phone to return the product through various carriers. This makes it easy for customers to return products and helps minimize waste.

2. H&M

H&M has a sustainable program called "Clothes Back" where customers can return old clothes to a store. These clothes are then recycled or reused. This not only helps reduce waste, but also gives customers an extra reason to shop at H&M. Drop & loop is an initiative where it is possible to realize this in the Dutch market

3. Decathlon 

Decathlon has a return period of 365 days; This gives customers the flexibility to return products at their convenience, rather than within a limited time period. This increases customer satisfaction and can lead to repeat purchases.

Invest in return logistics to differentiate yourself from your competitors 

Return logistics is an important part of logistics for many companies because it contributes to efficiency, sustainability and customer satisfaction. Companies that implement good return logistics will stand out from their competitors and gain a better reputation. 

As a company, it is therefore important to invest in an efficient return process and work towards sustainability. To do this, it is best to use a full returns solution like the one offered by Returnista. As a consumer, it is important to know that any returns they make to an online store contribute to a more sustainable world.

More tips to reduce your returns and increase sales

November 13, 2023

How to become more profitable today

Read this post
November 7, 2023

Blocking serial returners from your online store in 5 steps

Read this post