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How Loop’s Returns Management Platform Features Support Sustainability

how-loop’s-returns-management-platform-features-support-sustainability
How Loop’s Returns Management Platform Features Support Sustainability

Top ecommerce brands know that sustainability is a key concern for their customers – and by thoughtfully building it into every step of their supply chains, they can drive more business value while doing their part for the planet.

Brands that prioritize sustainability initiatives see higher ROI for their efforts, even with higher-priced products: Edelman found that sustainability-focused brands are priced an average of 28% higher than their competitors, yet they’re growing twice as fast. Green brands are clearly feeding a need for consumers – 93% of consumers say that they consider climate change an urgent threat. Choosing to support sustainable brands is a key part of their commitment to preserving the planet for future generations. 

If your brand is considering ways to improve your sustainability, you’ve probably already looked at the impact of the materials you use in production and packaging, as well as your energy use and shipping methods. But there’s one key area of the supply chain that many brands don’t even consider – and that’s the post-purchase cycle.

In ecommerce, where as many as 40% of purchases end up in product returns, it’s crucial to build a sustainable strategy for disposing of products after the sale if the customer decides not to keep them. Currently, the majority of returned products never make it back to the shelves, and 40% of them end up as landfill waste. 

By embracing Loop’s return management platform, you can solve the post-purchase sustainability challenge. Here are some of our key features that help you build a more environmentally-friendly returns process:

Returnless refunds

If an item isn’t likely to be resold for a profit, it doesn’t make financial or environmental sense to ask the customer to ship the product back to your warehouse, knowing that it will likely end up in a landfill. Instead, our “keep item” feature enables your brand to process refund or exchange requests without requesting a return of the original item. By inviting your customer to pass the item on to a friend, donate it, or recycle it, you can create a delightful experience for them – all without increasing the product’s carbon footprint. 

Full or partial refunds 

Customers are less likely to take part in bracketing and other forms of returns abuse if they’re charged a return shipping fee: In fact, our recent Consumer Fraud Report found that charging a fee for returns would dissuade 37% of respondents from engaging in fraud or abuse. 

Loop makes it easy to customize your refund policies by granting the ability to offer either a full refund or a partial refund depending on the situation. For example, a customer returning a defective product may be entitled to a full refund. On the other hand, a customer who purchased five items to try out and is returning four of them may be charged a return shipping fee out of their refund – which may provide a disincentive from purchasing products they don’t genuinely intend to keep in the future. The ability to customize your returns policy and fees on a case-by-case basis helps your brand deliver an exceptional returns experience, while protecting you from return policy abuse. 

Consolidation of returned products

In addition to giving customers the choice to mail back their returns from home, Loop provides the convenient option to drop off the item unboxed at a nearby drop-off center. By consolidating multiple returns at a drop-off center, you can reduce your packaging needs and your returns’ carbon footprint by shipping back one bulk order instead of processing multiple returns. As a merchant, consolidated reverse logistics can also help you save on shipping costs and streamline reverse logistics tracking. 

Dynamic routing 

Loop’s conditional logic feature automatically finds the most sustainable reverse logistics path for each returned product, based on qualities such as the product category, condition, and associated shipping fees. For instance, your return policy may allow a customer to return a gently used pair of shoes within the 30-day return window – but your brand won’t be able to resell the shoes, so why would you ship them back to your warehouse? Instead, Loop can route items that aren’t eligible for resale to other facilities, such as donation centers, recycling plants, and secondary marketplaces. 

Integrations with secondary marketplaces

We encourage our merchants to embrace a circular economy by setting up partnerships with resale platforms including Arrive, Recurate, Treet, and Trove, which all integrate with Loop. By routing gently used returns to these partners, brands are able to remarket and resell their products on a branded secondary marketplace, keeping them out of landfills. Merchants can also encourage customers to sell their used items back through these marketplaces, ensuring a second life for items that customers no longer want. 

Packaging material re-use

Loop encourages customers to re-use the same packaging materials that their products arrived in when sending back items for return, eliminating additional packaging waste. If they’ve already gotten rid of the materials, they’re welcome to bring the items to a nearby drop-off center, where they can be consolidated into a bulk shipment. 

Want to learn more about building a sustainable post-purchase experience with Loop?

The post How Loop’s returns management platform features support sustainability appeared first on Loop Returns.

This article originally appeared on Loopreturns and is available here for further discovery.
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