A year into the pandemic-influenced explosion in ecommerce, and after the recent peak holiday season, one thing is abundantly clear: Retailers can no longer afford to view returns as a cost of doing business, but instead need to see it as a key business strategy driving customer loyalty.
Having experienced significant pain in the fourth quarter of 2020, when millions of orders showed up late during the holidays, many retailers have stepped up their preparation efforts to ensure that 2021 isn’t a repeat of that ugly scenario.
The pace of change is requiring retailers to strategically unify their brands and offerings. Evolving omnichannel scenarios, such as BOPIS and store returns, mean interacting with customers in new ways for the same transaction.
Consumers may focus on curbside pickup, speed of delivery, trouble-free returns and seamless experiences, but retailers and brands face heightened fulfillment challenges, leading many to embrace outsourcing to third-party logistics (3PLs)