How a 3PL Can Make Your returns Easier

With the growing popularity of online shopping, it can be difficult to manage increased eCommerce returns. Most businesses focus on the fulfillment process and getting products into their customer’s hands, but treat customers returns as an afterthought. In some cases, these orders sit in piles waiting until someone can process them, but this can quickly get expensive.

In 2020 alone the number of eCommerce returns increased to 70%. That increased volume is a lot to handle for businesses that don’t have a streamlined process in place, especially when customers expect two-day shipping.

Rather than using their resources to improve their reverse logistics management, many eCommerce businesses are outsourcing their returns to third-party logistics (3PL) providers.

How Does a 3PL Make Returns Easier?

3PLs have experience with inbound and outbound logistics. This makes it easier for 3PL providers to handle any amount of returns without the need to invest in additional resources such as equipment, technology, or training. Some of the key benefits 3PLs provide for reverse logistics management include:

  • More Resources to Handle Returns: 

    3PL providers have more resources available to process returns than most eCommerce businesses. A dedicated team and warehouse space can speed up the process keeping customers satisfied and likely to purchase from you again.

  • Simplified Returns Process: 

    Simplified returns at no cost have become a big deciding factor for many consumers. Providing an easy and straightforward process sets a positive brand image and encourages repeat business. 3PL providers can help establish a streamlined returns process that will benefit your customers as eCommerce continues to grow.

  • Quality Control: 

    Outbound distribution centers may not have the time or resources to correctly assess the condition of returned products. 3PL providers have a dedicated staff to decide, based on the brand’s guidelines, if a return should be moved back into inventory, recycled, or discarded.

  • Better Data Analytics: 

    3PL providers leverage technology and software to analyze trends in product returns. This data can be used to identify if a specific product is performing poorly and being returned more often. Allowing you to make adjustments as needed.

  • Preferred Carrier Rates: 

    Shipping costs can be expensive and eat into the profits of eCommerce businesses. 3PL providers can negotiate preferred rates with top carriers, lowering the return costs. This saves you money as they can return items to you cheaper than you do independently.

  • Scalable: 

    3PL providers can easily scale up or down with your business needs. This is necessary when dealing with product recalls, holiday seasons, or periods with increased volume. Being able to quickly react and process returns will help keep you competitive in the eCommerce market.

  • Streamlined Operations: 

    Distribution centers are well equipped to handle large truckload shipments but may have issues processing individual shipments. 3PL providers have streamlined operations in place to process each shipment. Returns are routed to the correct team where they are assessed and are disposed of or returned to inventory.

These benefits provided by 3PL providers can help make your fulfillment and reverse logistics more efficient. As eCommerce grows, so do the number of returns. It’s important to have an established streamline process before volume increases beyond your control. With the help of a 3PL provider, your reverse logistics management can be outsourced allowing for the quicker return of inventory while keeping costs low.

Do you need a 3PL to handle your returns?

eCommerce businesses focus on the sales and marketing of their products, and often don’t see how their inefficient returns process is costing them time and money.

If you are considering outsourcing your reverse logistics management to a 3PL provider, here are some red flags that can help you decide.

  • Do you have too many returns laying around waiting to be received?
  • Are you having to pull your employees from picking and packing to process returned orders?
  • Are your staff working overtime to process returns and feeling burned out?
  • Do you have limited space in the warehouse, included returned product?
  • Is your receiving team not set up to process B2C returns efficiently?

If you’re considering outsourcing your fulfillment and returns to a 3PL, C2W Distribution can help. We offer both 3PL & 4PL solutions to meet your fulfilment, eCommerce, dropshipping, & storage requirements. By leveraging our state-of-the-art equipment and technology, we’re able to fulfil your business needs while making your supply chain more efficient, reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction. Leave the logistics to us, while you focus on your core competencies.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to see what we can do for your supply chain.