For most sellers reverse logistics in India is one of the toughest nuts to crack. They fail miserably at the idea of returns and this is where their business processes become disrupted. The point is that returns are inevitable in ecommerce. And the only thing you can do is prepare for them. While your inventory management has a lot to do with this, you also need to prepare with your logistics.
Most small sellers find reverse logistics in India as a huge burden. In spite of the fact that they do fairly well in other key areas of business, it is reverse logistics where things seem falling apart. But, the question is,do returns have to be this bad? The answer is not always. You can always optimize your returns and if your logistics is reliable, returns will seem hassle-free to you.
While you might have a lot of questions, let’s take you through the things you didn’t know about reverse logistics. The more informed you are, the better decisions you can make for your business. So, read more to find out everything about reverse logistics in India-
What is Reverse Logistics in India?
Reverse logistics has stayed a part of every business for many years. Be it retail or ecommerce, customers always come back with products they do not want to keep. While every seller is the happiest after selling the product to the customer, the reverse journey is not so pleasurable. Reverse logistics imply the movement of goods from the customer to the seller. It is the reverse of all processes. As the goods arrive at the seller’s warehouse once again, they might be resold or sent back to the manufacturer, if there are any major defects.
What Does Reverse Logistics in India Have to Do With Return Management?
Reverse logistics in India and the concept of return management are closely related. The idea is that if you are able to manage your returns in a better manner, then you don’t have to suffer a lot of losses. Moreover, your business doesn’t have to be disrupted. For example, if you are constantly receiving return orders from a particular pin code, you can dig down deeper in the matter. Ask the customer the reason for the return. It might be possible that you are selling a wrong product for a pincode. And once you come to know about this information, things can become quite simplified for you. In other words, managing return orders can reduce the risk of reverse logistics in India.
When is Reverse Logistics in India Used?
Reverse logistics in India is used when the product sold by the seller makes a return journey to the seller. So, let’s say that you sold a T-SHirt with Size M to the customer. But, the customer found it a little tight and therefore, the existing product becomes of no use to them. As a result, they place a request to return the product on your website. This is where rever logistics have a role to play. Alternatively, there might be many reasons that a customer returns the product, in all of them reverse logistics in India have a role to play.
What are the Most Common Causes Behind Reverse Logistics?
There can be many causes why products have to come back to the seller. While many of these are purely customer’s wishes, a lot has to also do with the seller’s existing selling practices.
Incorrect Address on the Parcel
Many times if you mention the incorrect address of the customer on the shipping label, the courier partner has difficulty finding it. As a result your parcel is marked as return to origin. Perhaps you are missing out some details from the address or have written only 9 digits in the phone number. The idea is that once the courier picks up the parcel, there is very little that you can do about it. Therefore, you must double check the customer address before mentioning it on the shipping label. This will ultimately help you reduce reverse logistics in India.
Product Description Doesn’t Match the Product
Customers will return the product if its description doesn’t match with what they ultimately receive in the order. For example, if you are selling an orange T-shirt with a crocodile print on it and deliver a t-shirt with a dog print on it, the experience gets broken. Remember that the customer has no way of physically getting the look and feel of the product. All they do is read your product description, look at the images and decide whether this is what they want. So, if you are mentioning incorrect product details, not only is this misleading but also harmful for your reputation. Most of the cases of reverse logistics in India have to deal with such a situation.
Product Arrived Too Late
Commonl logistics issue can be one of the biggest reasons for reverse logistics in India. For example, if you promised to deliver a product to the customer within 2 days, and are actually delivering it in a week, the customer might end up returning it. Imagine how bad the experience would in case of any urgent goods or gift items. The customer might have planned on purchasing a gift at the last moment due to your shipping commitments. But, when the product arrives late, they don’t have anything to do with it. This might happen due to two reasons. Either you are dispatching your orders quite late, or your logistics provider is not performing their responsibilities well.
Damaged/Poor Quality Product
This reason for reverse logistics in India has to do with your inventory management. If you are not careful with your inventory, you might send a damaged product to the customer. There are chances for the inventory to be damaged if it is left unchecked in the warehouse. Furthermore, if you don’t have a quality check at the time of picking the product, you will make such mistakes. But, remember that sending a damaged or poor quality product can earn you a bad reputation in the market. Make sure you do not make such mistakes.
No Longer Required by the Customer
Another popular cause of reverse logistics in India is customers wishes. Maybe your customer doesn’t like the product very much. Or they ordered in a haste on your website and found a better deal somewhere later. In ecommerce these issues create a lot of trouble. But, it is a part of the business. While you cannot prevent this totally, what you can do is analyze if you are receiving too many returns from a particular region. If this is the case, it is best that you take some strict actions for it. For example, instead of returning the money, tell your customer that you will be by providing them a gift coupon to be redeemed on the website.
Courier partners can many times fail to deliver a product because the customer was not available at the moment. It is possible that the premises were shut or it was an office address that is closed on a Sunday. This creates a possibility for reverse logistics in India. As a business it is always advised to inform your customer about an out for delivery message and ask them if the parcel can be left with a neighbour in case they are not available. Moreover, your logistics partner must be willing to make a second attempt for delivery.
What Does Reverse Flow Mean in the Supply Chain?
While we understand reverse logistics in India, there is yet another tem reverse flow that confuses the sellers. Reverse flow is a synonym for reverse logistics in the supply chain. It includes a series of detailed activities such as planning and implementing various aspects of reverse logistics. When a product makes its journey back to the seller from the customer’s doorstep, you have to make plans for what happens next. At every stage, you need to know where this product goes from here and what needs to be done about it.
How Does Reverse Logistics Impact the Supply Chain Management?
Most sellers think that their job is finished once the product is sold to the customer. However, this is not the situation in most of the cases. Remember that products have warranties, repair, and other aspects involved with them. And if you want to make successful sales and build customer loyalty you have to take care of these.
Reverse logistics can ordinarily disrupt the supply chain management. It is natural that you have perfect ideas and an estimate about how you will sell X quantities of product and make profits from them. But, when you receive returns, this flow gets disrupted. Therefore, a good practice is to establish a reverse supply chain on its own to manage and optimize the returns coming into your business .
Why is Reverse Logistics in India Needed?
Reverse logistics is needed for a variety of reasons. It establishes the journey of the product from the customer’s doorstep to the seller’s warehouse. Imagine what would happen if you don’t have reverse logistics in place for your ecommerce business. You will not only suffer the loss in terms of profits but also manufacturing price. You will not know what to do with the products that are marked as returns. And if you do not have a plan, the product either stays with the customer, or is destroyed by the courier company. With reverse logistics in place for your business, you can bring the product back safely and prepare them for a resale. This way you can recapture the value and earn profits on the item once again.
Reverse logistics in India can seem like a tough nut to crack. But, not if you are keeping a close eye on their trends. Several times it might be a fraud customer or some issue with your courier company that is causing you returns. If you look at the patterns of your returns, you will be easily able to identify such issues. ALways remember to partner with a reliable logistics provider like Dash101 to manage your return orders. This will not just cost you as less as Rs 23/500 gms but also help you bring your products back with one of the most reliable courier services.
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