Peak Returns Season

Lessons Learned From Post Peak Returns Season and What You Need to Do Today

Returns in omnichannel retail represent a significant risk in the supply chain. While retailers understand the full potential of the peak shopping season, the topic of reverse logistics and returns peak season is often an afterthought. As explained by Daniela Forte of Multichannel Merchant, retailers lose more than $350 billion in sales following the peak shopping season. Unfortunately, failure to maintain proper control over returns processes and management can have grave consequences for your supply chain. Supply chain leaders need to understand the lessons learned from Post Peak returns season and how to ensure their current returns processes are built for success.

Retailers Overlook Peak Returns Season and Lose Sight of the Bigger Picture

The root of the problem goes back to a simple misconception; returns processes following the peak returns season can effectively wipe out 30 percent of total revenue gained from the peak shopping season. In addition, more retailers have implemented relaxed return processes to encourage consumers to shop in the first place. Unfortunately, relaxed processes translate into abuse of returns. According to Mackenna Moralez of Supply & Demand Chain Executive, abuse of returns policies have another effect on businesses in the omnichannel world. Abuse of returns policies are one reason more retailers are seriously reconsidering the returns authorization management styles.

Peak Returns Season Sets the Tone of Reverse Logistics for the Rest of the Year

Setting clear policies for handling peak returns season is crucial to successful and profitable returns processes, says Don White of Multichannel Merchant. The ability of the store to handle the peak returns’ season stress sets the tone for the remainder of the year. Although returns usually have a peak in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the actual peak may not occur until the passage of Super Bowl Sunday. Ultimately, the peak returns season exists on a range, and toys, gifts, and electronics have varying peak returns’ dates. Having the capability to handle increased returns is essential to overall customer experience and a company’s bottom line.

How to Reduce the Financial Impact of and Plan for Peak Returns Season

Returns can make or break the sales experience and profitability for supply chains. As explained by Curtis Greve of Inbound Logistics, retailers should: Understand sales patterns.

Plan for space and labor demand for peak returns’ season.

Balance returns shipments going back to suppliers/vendors.

Leverage analytics to understand returns patterns.

Improve on the issues identified by analytics.

Consider outsourcing of reverse logistics, says Transport Topics.

Apply These Lessons to Enhance Your Returns Practices Now

Consumer expectations are evolving, and the basic needs of consumers of yesteryear will not necessarily reflect the needs of consumers for 2019. Retailers need to understand the peak returns season and how following a few simple tips can mean the difference between successfully handling returns and losing the added profits gained from the peak shopping season. Further, integration of returns systems with existing warehouse management platforms is crucial to your success. If you need assistance with integration, Veridian can help. Reach out to our supply chain system experts.