Reverse logistics can be a huge headache or massive opportunity. The launch of Boomerang by CouriersPlease is the next step in the evolution of returns.
While much of the focus of online retail is focused on making the sale, a large element of this is the (somewhat contradictory) loss of the sale: returns. Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP) has announced the launch of its new self-serve, low cost returns portal, enabling online retailers to handle the challenge of reverse logistics.
“CouriersPlease is thrilled to launch the new Boomerang returns portal which will streamline the returns process and make it easier for both consumers and e-tailers,” says Jessica Ip, Head of Commercial & Transformation at CP. “Online shoppers want to be able to purchase with confidence and return an order easily if it isn’t suitable – they don’t want to feel disincentivised to return an item. Similarly for retailers, having a seamless returns experience is so important because it influences purchasing decisions, promotes repurchasing, as well as increasing customer loyalty to a brand. It can be a point of competition for online retailers and can often be the only differentiator for customers when deciding where to purchase.”
Strictly defined, online returns is the process of a customer sending a previously purchased item back to the retailer. But the wider definition encompasses so much more. The stats show that online purchasing is on the rise, consumer behaviour is changing, and how retailers approach returns (from policies on their website to the physical returns process) can be a huge strategic advantage.
Research conducted by CP has revealed that returns need to be easier and more affordable for online shoppers: 53 per cent of Australian online shoppers said returns processes offered by various e-tailers need to be easier, while nearly a third (29 per cent) have indicated that having a courier pick up and return their item would most motivate them to return unsuitable products.
Boomerang allows customers to return online purchases to a conveniently-located drop-off point, which will then be collected by a CP driver and returned to the retailer’s warehouse for processing. Shoppers contact the retailer to arrange a return and customers will be directed to the Boomerang portal on their website. They simply request a CP driver to collect their parcel from their chosen address or one of CP’s drop-off points, which includes more than 1700 locations in its network of convenience stores and petrol stations. Customers can also print out a consignment label for their returns parcel. Once the item is collected, it can be delivered directly to the retailer’s warehouse for processing or consolidated at a CP facility for a more cost-effective solution.
“Boomerang offers a simple and transparent solution that takes shoppers just minutes to organise a return,” Ip explains. “It also offers retailers an end-to-end solution, ensuring they won’t need to spend time managing and following up a return. The speed of the return to the warehouse and faster turnaround time for returns also means items will be put back on the shelf or online quicker.”
The return booking and lodgement process takes shoppers five minutes, with the items collected by CP to be processed by the retailer as per their returns or refund policy.
For more on the power of returns and the benefits of Boomerang, you can download CP’s free whitepaper Returns: The Competitive Advantage here.