Choosing the right partner can make or break your company’s logistics, customer service, and repeat purchases. Using a fulfillment center like Shipfusion frees you from navigating the fulfillment landscape with zero stress. Below are some insights on how Shipfusion can take your business to the next level.
Most of the important factors when choosing a fulfillment center are understanding the company’s software because at the end of the day it all comes down to how well the technology integrates and works with your retail store. Logistics tends to be one of the most neglected segments of the whole eCommerce journey. It never is the highlight or the feature, it’s unglamorous but many companies underestimate how important it is until it becomes a problem. We sat down with Shipfusion’s Solutions Architect and eCommerce Specialist, Dean Bentley-Falcke for a 3 part series on how to better understand what questions you should be asking when considering a potential partnership with a fulfillment solution.
Why returns are so important
The biggest challenge with eCommerce is you’re only as good as your last interaction and this poses the challenge that if you haven’t resolved the whole return logistics question, the last impression that customers can have will be your failure to handle their return. Especially if you’re selling a certain product line that is known to have high percentages of returns, specifically apparel and footwear. The minute you start selling things that people have to try on or have very specific personal preferences, your percentage of returns goes dramatically up even as high as 30 to 40 percent.
How does Shipfusion’s returns software help my business?
Not only does returns affect your customer’s experience, but returns also have to remain cost-effective because there’s a high likelihood that you’re going to need to resell or recover those items that have come back to your warehouse. Many companies can’t afford, especially with the margins that are normally in retail to just dump a whole bunch of returns and never process them. Returns in general have two major challenges; the first being, most often returns is your last customer touchpoint so it has to be a great customer experience. Secondly, it can be a big cost, so you’ve got to be able to handle returns in the most cost-effective way for your business.
How does Shipfusion facilitate returns with shipping labels?
Shipfusion gives customers an easy way to get the merchandise back to the seller or to the warehouse. Shipfusion provides all shipping labels and helps assist with the return process, we can do this by understanding the client’s needs and have clear instructions on what to do with the returned product. Shipfusion’s technology has the ability to generate those labels and for the most part, we will find the cheapest shipping option.
How do we process returns most cost-effectively?
Shipfusion assists either directly or you can work with a returns processor like Return Magic, we have solutions and we have integrations to help that process. Shipfusion understands the importance of returned product location and our returns software allows us to do assessments and processing, including inventory to be recovered and resold for a value curated fee. Your customers have an easy way of getting a return label and getting the return back to our warehouses. Cost is an important factor when discussing returns, firstly Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment center locations across the US and Canada, giving you effectively a centralized place for the returns to go and while that may seem intuitive the reality is returns can become a bit of a challenge.
Shipfusion gives clients peace of mind that no matter who they’re selling through we can handle all of their returns as a centralized returns processor. Shipfusion’s returns software allows us to do various assessments and processing of those returns and through that process allow inventory to be recovered and resold.
We give our clients an easy way to get return labels to their customers, giving the client a central place for all returns to go and put the usable valid stock back into inventory so that it can be purchased and shipped again. Shipfusion not only handles the initial assessments of the return, determining whether the item has been worn or not but we can also then make a judgment call on whether the return is valid.
“Part of the theme at Shipfusion is that we don’t constrain our clients. We work with them as business partners and we work with their solutions and their environments, which allows them great flexibility to work with other third parties, but still take advantage of Shipfusion services.”
How does Shipfusion determine a manufacturing defect or customer damage effectively to align with the store’s return policies?
Shipfusion has specific statuses and processes to assess what we do with the returned product. If customers want us to send back their returns in bulk, we can do that. If they want us to donate it to a charity or want it to go back into stock we can also do that. Shipfusion can do quite a bit of high-level customization depending on what is needed. The other thing we can do is we can repackage the product if the client provides us with additional packaging and it’s feasible, we can repackage returns as if it came from the factory. A typical example is shoes; many times customers return the item in the box that the item went out in and they wrap that multiple times in all kinds of wrapping and put it back in the box–It’s a bit damaged and you can’t ship a repurposed item in the traditional box that it came in. So if we are supplied with additional packaging materials, once we have processed that return, we can place an item back in the original packaging and put it back on our shelves. There is a lot in terms of process customization unlike many of our competitors, I don’t think many other shipping companies are prepared to sometimes build custom processes around returns like we are at Shipfusion.
Make sure to check out next week’s post for PART 2 of 3 of our conversation with Dean to find more about what you should expect from your fulfillment company.
Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on how to set your business on autopilot, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.