returns

Narvar and Cycleon have partnered to launch a global returns solution for the retail industry to address an online returns rate of 20 to 30 percent, which compares to 8 percent for in-store purchases, the companies noted.

In a joint statement, the companies said merchants and brands “can simplify reverse logistics with this end-to-end returns solution that seamlessly integrates elegant customer experience and convenient options with efficient processing and value recovery.”

“This partnership makes it easy for brands to seamlessly centralize their entire reverse logistics engine from elegant customer experience to reduced shipping rates and item consolidation, to value recovery — all powered by data and intelligence,” the companies said.

Amit Sharma, founder and chief executive officer of Narvar, said returns are an “integral part of the retail journey, and will only increase as e-commerce accelerates. Retailers have been valiantly grappling with the challenges of balancing consumer expectations with operational efficiency.”

In describing the context for developing this solution, the companies said consumers expect the returns process to be easy while demanding speedy refunds from retailers, “which can turn a first-time customer into a loyal one.”

“In fact, 76 percent of new customers say that a great returns experience is a critical factor in deciding whether they will shop with a retailer again, making it imperative that retailers focus on the post-purchase journey to drive retention and yield higher-value customers,” the companies said, while acknowledging that meeting these customer demands “can be costly, especially as the shift toward e-commerce accelerates.”

There’s also the added complexity of international returns. Narvar and Cycleon said merchants and brands need to find as much “operational and cost efficiency as possible in returns to mitigate some of these costs and maintain the value of the returns experience to drive loyalty.”

Then there is the issue of sustainable practices. According to numerous media reports, a large bulk of online and in-store returns end up in landfills. Companies are looking to partner with vendors and solution providers who have sustainable processes in place.

As such, the combination of “Narvar’s intelligent rules engine plus Cycleon’s network of 30 distribution centers placed strategically around the globe creates a sophisticated routing automation capability, saving carbon footprint and reducing time to process returns and refunds,” the companies said.

Jelle Schoenmaker, executive vice president of after-market services and general manager at Cycleon, described the partnership with Narvar as a “great match, with complementary capabilities, many mutual customers and a shared vision to help retailers solve reverse logistics.”

Cycleon’s returns solutions are used by brands and merchants in both fashion and apparel, and in the consumer electronics segment.

Narvar’s intelligent customer experience platform is used by more than 800 retailers and brands, and includes Sephora, Patagonia, Levi’s, Bose, Warby Parker, Home Depot, LVMH and L’Oréal, among others.

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