Written By: John Wilson
Returns are a fact of life in the retail world. Whether it’s brick and mortar, or online stores; items are coming back at record levels. It’s no secret that online retailers face a higher rate of returns due to the nature of the business. Customers want free shipping AND free returns, and will click on to the next retailer until they get what they want. Online retailers know this all too well- they just don’t want to talk about it. With return rates averaging 30% or higher, already razor thin profit margins are being pushed past their limits by stiff competition. Sooner or later, the unsustainable return policies of eCommerce companies will need to be addressed.
BrandNexity, an eCommerce Consulting firm located in Northeast Pennsylvania, has heard the muffled groans from their clients when the topic of returns comes up in consultations and discovery meetings. “ We can see their eyes roll back in their heads, and the private conversations start between themselves” says Russell Wollam, COO. So, BrandNexity took the initiative to start a two pronged approach to the issue called ReturnsUSA.com. “We are calling out the 800 pound gorilla in the room by providing a viable option in one place for sellers; and consumers” says Wollam.
The consumer side of the site offers discounted items from large box stores such as shelf pulls, as well as liquidation items, and of course returns. But there is a difference from random items that are posted back up on Amazon as warehouse deals, and the inventory listed on ReturnsUSA.com. All items are inspected and certified for resale; with accurate descriptions that are backed by a 100% money back guarantee. There are brand new items still in the box, barely used items, and even some more used treasures. There are also plenty of home goods and clothing available at huge discounts. The idea is that some things have more value than others, and anything is better than the landfill.
The seller side- sellers.returnsusa.com is where manufacturers and retailers can sign up for various plans and options to accommodate their needs according to their return policies. The idea here is to let Returns USA handle all the headaches associated with returns, while allowing the sellers to focus on what they want to do – sell new merchandise. Many sellers are only setup to move merchandise one way – OUT. Returns interrupt their supply chain logistics and end up costing more time and money to handle. Some sellers (i.e. Cross Border/International) just dispose of the items regardless of the reason for the return; because it’s just cheaper for them to refund the purchase and not deal with the expense of the return. In the end, billions of tons of unwanted merchandise is wasted every year due to inefficient eCommerce supply chain logistics, and policies.
As the eCommerce and online world continues to grow, so does the issue of what to do with all the unwanted goods. BrandNexity is tackling the 800 pound return gorilla with new concepts like ReturnsUSA.com, and a new fresh look at solutions to a growing issue.