From Return to Resale: Integrating Reconditioning Activities in Your Returns Flow

By Laura Garrett

Returns play a key role in the overall consumer buying process. The average return rate for online shopping is 30%, compared to just 9% from purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Yet this figure is likely now much higher due to the ecommerce boom of 2020. Largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Resultantly many people have spent a lot more time at home and have moved online for their shopping needs. Increased volumes of online spending directly affect the return rate, which will also be higher. As such, there’s never been a more important time to invest in your e-commerce operations and returns process

Gone are the days when returns are seen as a loss-making practice. Now there are so many ways that retailers can embrace returns. Not only to retain the value of returned stock and protect profit margins, but also to encourage future sales, provide customers with a great shopping experience and adopt more sustainable practices. All of these aspects can be assisted by integrating reconditioning activities in your returns flow.

At ReBound, we see returns as an opportunity for resale. As such, we facilitate reconditioning because we understand that returns of a good quality can be redeployed and resold. As opposed to being left to depreciate in storage or ending up as waste.

  1. Grading: Items are graded to assess their state using our system-driven quality checks and reports. Lower grade items will need reconditioning work before they can be rerouted and resold.
  2. Restoring: Products are cleaned and restored until they meet a high grade. They may also be re-routed to repair centers.
  3. Re-tagging: The return is re-tagged with a new label ready to be placed back in stock.
  4. Re-bagging and Re-boxing: The return is also re-bagged or re-boxed and packed ready for its next destination. 
  5. Redeployment: The restored product is ready for re-fulfillment. Sent to a new ideal end destination where it retains value through resale.

Read on to learn more about the central reconditing activities we offer, as well as the key benefits…

The Key Benefits

Save Time | Focus on Outbound  

Partnering with a returns expert and 4PL such as ReBound relieves your brand of the responsibility of performing reconditioning activities. We understand that you will have other areas to focus on or challenges to overcome. Especially when coping with fulfilling peak digital outbound volumes. Having us handle your returns will free up more time for you to focus on these other priorities.  

Shorter Lead Times | Retain Value 

Shorter lead times play an essential role in helping you to retain the value of returns. Items that are quickly returned can enter the reconditioning process faster. The more efficient this process is, the sooner these items can be put back in stock and resold to a new customer. Returned items lose value daily, so it’s important to have an optimized returns flow to process these returns as quickly as possible at a high standard. 

A quick turn-around also secures a shorter refund lead time, meaning your customers receive their money back quickly. Something that will heighten their experience shopping with you and encourage them to return in the future.  

Shortened lead times also have a positive impact on your inventory costs. By replacing stock with reconditioned returned items, you’ll need to order less additional stock from your manufacturers. This is also a more sustainable practice as you’re avoiding the overproduction of stock and only producing enough to correctly fulfil demand.  

A Flexible Solution | Suitable for All 

For reconditioning activities, we offer our retail partners flexibility. By facilitating these solutions in numerous locations, for varying volumes and for stock both higher and lower in value. We can offer this using our service smart software which assists and automates item processing and dynamic rerouting within service centers. This also ensures that we can offer the benefits of reconditing returns to a wide range of brands and retailers. 

Avoid Waste | Prevent Stock Depreciation

By integrating reconditioning in your returns operation, you’ll also be encouraged to engage with the circular economy. This process enables returned items to be restored so that they can resold and prevents a large number of items from becoming waste. An initiative that’s more environmentally conscious while also preventing stock depreciation and profit losses. 

Interested to learn more? Get in touch to learn more about ReBound’s solutions can help you to integrate reconditioning activities in your returns flow, and reap the benefits listed above!

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