How to Drive Customer Loyalty and Repeat Sales with Omnichannel Returns

Returns, fulfillment, warehousing, distribution and logistics. And one of the best software management platforms out there, we review Geodis with specific focus on returns as part of overall CX.
2 November 2021 | 2138 Shares


The fiercer competition is in your sector, the more difficult it becomes to differentiate your specific offering from another company’s. Consumers know this well — as do an increasing number of business buyers, incidentally — and it can be the smallest aspect of a brand’s offering that affects a buying decision.

Low- or no-cost expedited delivery and a flexible and easy returns policy are great differentiators that will keep prospective customers away from the search bar to find a competitor.

Achieving cost-effective, fast, and effortless shipping and returns is no mean feat. Building interfaces between e-commerce facilities, distribution and warehouse systems, and logistics providers is immensely complicated — and therefore, expensive to achieve and a constant resource drain to maintain. There’s also the vast complication in that for returns, pretty much the entire process must work in reverse, right across channels.

Customers returning goods tend to be repeat shoppers, and according to a study by CX specialist Navar (PDF), 95% of shoppers happy with a returns process would purchase again from the same retailer. Returns policies contribute to the bottom line, so all a retailer need do is make it simple, give options, and keep the communications flowing. It sounds simple, and it looks easy — if it works.

Like all aspects of a top-end customer experience, there is an element of a swan gliding over a placid lake surface: it looks smooth, but there’s a great deal of activity hidden under the surface. On very small scales, retailers can hand-nurture the entire returns process for the best outcomes. But at scale, that’s clearly impossible.

For an effective fulfillment and returns operation to work correctly and be a proactive, positive influence on customer experience, the twin elements of physical logistics and digital systems need to work together harmoniously. Returns management software platforms exist but the physical logistics usually has to be outsourced, and returns are therefore expensive and difficult to manage. And there’s only one company that provides these twin capabilities at any scale, to any degree required — and all as a unified service.

GEODIS provides retailers and e-merchants with a powerful yet extensible white-label returns management platform, which operates seamlessly with the company’s logistics provision. From the technology front-end, the consumer initiates a return, selecting home pickup or drop-off.

Now the GEODIS physical service ensures collection and transport to the warehouse as well as the entire process of control, sorting, repackaging for shipment or even recycling in a circular economy logic. Logistics are transcribed into back-office applications in full accordance with returns policies defined upstream. Retailers (and customers, too) can track the return request’s progress in near real-time.

Combining proven experience and expertise in logistics and distribution with a powerful technology platform, GEODIS offers a solution that can be fully integrated into your existing software stack in just a few weeks or less. Companies can utilize all or part of GEODIS’s capabilities at any scale, and pricing is transparent.

GEODIS effectively acts as an extension to existing commerce facilities, be they in brick-and-mortar, online, or omnichannel mixtures. The deep system integration (implemented by or with the aid of GEODIS’s technical staff) updates order and return status and stock levels. To preserve the integrity of the customer experience, the GEODIS platform can handle B2C comms throughout (or trigger existing messaging systems for you).

To learn more about this unique (to our knowledge) service from GEODIS, its other offerings and the open pricing structures that cover the IT platform and physical logistics, click here. Finally, if your organization sells D2C, keep checking back here for a new whitepaper coming soon that discusses how brands can sell direct. See you then.