Shadowfax: Going into Front Gear with Reverse Logistics

Team Shadowfax

Toothpaste. Loans. Hair straightening — It’s no secret that many things in life can’t be reversed. But in the logistics space, the reverse is true!

In today’s day and age, if you want greater e-commerce returns, you have to drive your “Reverse Logistics” process with greater efficiency. So first, let’s understand what it means. Reverse logistics, in essence, comprises the backward flow of operations pertaining to the reuse of products/materials.

As you keep reading, you’ll realize that going into reverse gear in the logistics domain is actually possible and more importantly, absolutely essential — thanks to the ever-changing buyer patterns being witnessed globally.

Let’s take a look at some numbers:

7–10%

Percentage of costs attributable to reverse logistics compared to cost of goods sold. Source: Deloitte & Arvato

40%

Percentage of processing savings enjoyed by companies having mapped their reverse logistics process. Source: RL Magazine

20%

Percentage of recovery rate on returned products enjoyed by companies engaging in effective reverse logistics. Source: RL Magazine

95%

Percentage of customers willing to shop again if a company’s returns process is convenient. Source: RL Magazine

Adding the math together, businesses can no longer ignore the benefits of “reverse logistics services”.

Moving forward, here are some primary challenges this segment faces and how we, at Shadowfax, are addressing the same.

Reversing the Fortune: Key Challenges with Reverse Logistics & Futuristic Solutions

1. Absence of State-of-the-Art Technology: The Tech Story

Problem:

  • Absence of a platform that enables all stakeholders (customers, delivery partner, merchants) in the logistics ecosystem to coordinate reverse pick up as seamlessly as possible.

Solution:

We, at Shadowfax, witness a 80% same-day returns across 100+ cities and 2000+ pin codes. To keep up with this staggering pace, we have singularly focused on building a future-proof technological infrastructure that includes an easy-to-use in-app experience. This, we believe, has played a vital role in shaping our success story termed as — “E-commerce Logistics 2.0.”

2. The Delivery Partner Story: Implementing a Quality Check Mechanism

Problem:

  • Inability to conduct QC checks properly and manage pickups.
  • Increasing burdening of paper-trail involved by way of “quality forms”.
  • Improper incentives allowing higher attrition.

Solution:

Transparent and easy-to-use app does the job. It aids the riders to coordinate pick up and conduct quality checks with greater ease: Thanks to our QC flowchart that’s organized and simplified. That’s not all. After the job, the rider receives the payout in the app itself.

3. The Customer Story: Convenience, Convenience, and more Convenience

Problem:

  • Absence of a platform offering convenience and choice to select preferred date, time, and location for reverse pick up.

Solution:

Providing customers the option of returning the product at a time suitable for them is the game-changer. To enable hassle-free returns, we provide the customers with a web link where they can reschedule the reverse pick up. This strategy has helped build a loyal customer base who keep coming back for more.

4. The Merchant Story: Inventory-related Issues and Diminishing E-commerce Returns

Problem:

  • Complex devices and procedures for managing inventory.
  • Ad-hoc transportation and storage of returned products.
  • Absence of transparency when it comes to viewing the shipment.
  • Inability to plan for replacements.
  • Reduced E-commerce returns.
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Solution:

Launching an app that allows the merchants to:

  • View status of returned shipments so that they can manage their inventory accordingly.
  • Define priority logic for pickups.
  • Provide on-time delivery, thereby lowering costly customer support investments.
  • Engage in alternative shipping and handling procedures for heavy shipments.

“Returning” Thoughts: Acing Reverse Logistics Service

To summarize, we have implemented the following well-conceived “best practices” to tackle the challenges of reverse logistics:

  • Presence of wide-spread reverse pickup services.
  • Constant innovation by way of launching new features actively and frequently — acting as a strategic differentiator.
  • Ever-growing team of 45,000 riders showing lowest attrition rates in the industry.
  • Increased managerial focus on ensuring “agility” when it comes to turnaround time for reverse pickups.

Our philosophy: Impactful reverse logistics lies at the juncture of financial, operational, and informational flow.

By now you must have understood that in the world of logistics, going reverse means moving forward, isn’t it? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments below.

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