Returns are notoriously hard and with the rise of e-commerce during the pandemic they became even a bigger challenge. We spoke to Tim Robinson, who is the CEO of returns specialist Doddle, about how companies handled packages, what has happened in the field and how technology supports a robust returns process. Watch the full interview now.
‘Omnichannel retailers were particularly challenged in the early days of the pandemic,’ begins Tim Robinson. When information was little companies had to quickly adapt and rethink the return rules that were in place. For Robinson robust retailers quickly realised that it would be better to extend the period an item can be returned in than to lose customers’ confidence.
Robinson calls the levels of e-commerce eye-watering. Online giants like ASOS recorded significant sales but also huge levels of returns. Things have eased now but returns remain one of the most costly and wasteful aspects of logistics and supply chain. For Doddle’s CEO the answer is in targeting each item that a customer doesn’t want so it is immediately sent to the right destination.
Returns are often filled with unnecessary miles as items cross multiple borders a few times until they reach their destination.
‘Platforms like Amazon are using very intelligent decisions to control returns,’ Robinson continues. Using a system like Doddle’s can save time and money as items are easily put in the category they belong in – whether it is to be resold, shipped to a secondary market, or a discount shop.
Using technology allows logistics and retail companies to have a better understanding of their inventory levels. By logging an item in the inventory system as available, firms can easily make plans on how to sell it again. Visibility is becoming a key factor and more retailers will be booking into it.
To learn how returns are better controlled with technology and what happens when there is only a manual process in place, watch the full interview with Tim Robinson from Doddle now.✷