As we transition from the holiday season buzz to more routine activities, one aspect that remains prominent is the influx of returns. Returns, an inherent part of online retail, are particularly pronounced during this period, compounded further when brick-and-mortar stores are factored in!
The growing issue of Reverse Logistics
According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 16.5% of gifts are returned, while a UPS study suggests a figure as high as 23%. These returns pose logistical challenges exacerbated by supply chain disruptions, fluctuating demand, labor shortages, and transport delays.
To alleviate strain on warehouses, many retailers are adopting proactive measures such as implementing return charges or issuing refunds for items with higher shipping costs than their value.
Safeguarding profits with Protective Packaging
Protective packaging emerges as a crucial component in safeguarding profitability during the returns process. Maintaining product integrity during transit is paramount, especially for items designated for resale or covered under warranty.
In the realm of re-commerce, returned items deemed suitable for resale re-enter inventory channels or are sold to liquidation firms. Whether shipped directly to consumers or stocked on store shelves, these items necessitate robust packaging solutions to minimize damage.
From apparel to electronics, specialized mailing and in-box packaging materials offer protection against transit hazards, ensuring products reach their destination intact.
Similarly, warrantied items require secure packaging to preserve their condition during return shipping and subsequent outbound fulfillment processes. Effective packaging solutions mitigate the risk of damage, enhancing customer satisfaction.
Beyond shipping, handling and protecting returned goods is critical to maintaining their value. Automated bagging equipment streamlines the process of repackaging items for inventory storage, while poly bags shield products from environmental factors.
Given the slim margins associated with product returns, investing in protective packaging serves as a prudent strategy to mitigate potential damages year-round, particularly during challenging holiday return cycles.
Curious to explore how protective packaging and re-packaging solutions can optimize your returns process? Contact us to discuss your re-packaging solution needs.