Returns kill profit, customers are making cheekier use of returns policies, and the post office favours Amazon? The world of logistics doesn’t have this much of a black view of e-commerce, as the Logistics & Returns conference last week in Neuss showed.
Within a small framework, this important topic was discussed from all sides, with a stronger focus on multichannel. After all, no other trend makes the lives of traders and logistics providers as difficult (and exciting) as this one does.
The conference was attended by representatives from Hugo Boss, Hornbach, Navabi through to Peter Hahn. International speakers from China, the UK and Australia made sure the agenda was varied.
Logistics and returns: a sexy topic? Actually – yes! 🙂
Multichannel makes logistics an exciting challenge
The first days of the conference were shaped by the topics of multichannel from a logistics perspective. Logistics providers have to come to grips with the fact that 24/7 multichannel ordering is now the norm. The basic requirement for this is a central ERP solution, which knows all stock and whether or not an item is located in the shop or warehouse.
But the information should be more detailed than just availability: are the items new? Display products? No longer in the original packaging? Multichannel requires a high level of inventory certainty.
Returns belong in the e-commerce business model
The second day was all about returns. The question: is it better to make returns difficult for customers (take away the option) or easier, was posed and answered several times. The consensus: the idea that serial-returners are good customers was not confirmed; the profit gets lost on the way. Returns research from the University of Bamberg for instance, confirmed this.
Logistics provider Clippers places particular importance on returns: in their opinion, this is where the battles are fought because it is the last touch point with direct contact to the provider in the customer journey. Those who can stand out from the competition here, e.g. with particularly fast refunds or returns, leave a positive impression on the customer.
Tony Mannix (Clipper): “Returns are the new battleground in retail. We are talking about the last touchpoint in the customer journey”
— Cornelia Weiss (@Handelskraft) 11th of June 2015 «
In the future, returns will have a greater role than that of the profit killer.
The event held these and other exciting realization for the participants. What was also good about the format was the intense exchange during the networking breaks, which was made possible by the small circle.
Handelskraft where there as media partners. Thanks heaps and we’ll see you next time!