Worried About Managing Your Reverse Logistics? Here are a Few Tips

Dec 27, 2022

Returns are one of the most important processes businesses face after and during the holidays. An easy return process can draw more customers and improve distribution efficiency. Studies show 92% of consumers say they will buy again if the product return process is easy while 79% want free return shipping. Despite consumer demands for easy and free returns, more retailers and distributors aren’t willing to promise simplified returns. Surveys indicate roughly 60% of retailers said they are making changes to existing return policies, with fewer promising free returns. More changes to existing return policies stem from the high cost businesses take from the return process. On average, retailers expect about $158 billion of merchandise sold to be returned, but last year studies estimated the cost of returned goods climbed to $761 billion. Without solutions to control costs and simplify reverse logistics, businesses could suffer from higher costs during peak season in addition to these challenges:

  • Limited warehouse space to store orders when reverse logistics needs up to 20% more space than forward logistics
  • Managing the time and costs of damaged returns with an efficient return policy and effective inventory management
  • Customer expectations for free and easy returns when costs are already high
  • Sustainable disposal to reduce waste and create a sustainable supply chain


Luckily, digital solutions can help you prepare for holiday returns and manage these reverse logistics challenges. Warehouse automation can optimize space, improve accuracy and speed, and lead to efficient environmentally friendly disposal methods.


4 Ways to Optimize Reverse Logistics for Post-Holiday Returns.

Warehouses that leverage the benefits of warehouse automation and digital connectivity create smoother operations to make forward and reverse logistics easy. RFID technology, robotics, and dependable connections optimize supply chain visibility and reverse logistics with:


  1. Extended tracking and improved visibility - RFID scanners and barcode solutions help provide complete traceability of goods throughout manufacturing and distribution. Complete traceability helps warehouse employees track returned items and inventory to unclog productivity. Improved asset tracking and inventory management lead to higher visibility for informed decision-makers during the holidays.
  2. Faster order fulfillment and improved order accuracy - Enterprise robotics can redefine warehouse operations and then improve reverse logistics with 99.99% order accuracy and up to 30% fewer labor costs. Robotics also automates recycling to reduce waste.
  3. Seamless and reliable communication - With more supply chains depending on automation and digital solutions, it’s important to have dependable, fast wireless performance. Properly managed wireless systems can boost productivity to maintain consistent workflows during the holiday season.
  4. Prepare your operations for growth - Mobile devices are the foundation of productivity in supply chains now. Warehouses can ensure scalability and functionality with a dependable support team that seamlessly prepares and manages your technologies.


Holiday returns can be challenging to deal with because of limited space, high customer expectations, and high costs. Despite this, digital solutions like RFID technology and flexible WiFi can help ensure easy and cost-effective reverse logistics. Get a free assessment of your reverse logistics process to see if it’s ready to meet the demands of holiday returns.