Whether you’re buying food or furniture online, if you’re like most of today’s American consumers, you expect free shipping and returns, speedy refunds and transparency throughout the whole process. To be successful in today’s competitive retail landscape, companies must provide shoppers with this kind of quick and seamless post-purchase experience. As reliance on e-commerce has grown and technology has become more sophisticated, customers’ expectations have skyrocketed. But with less budget and fewer resources, it can be difficult for small and mid-market retailers to compete with the post-purchase experience provided by industry giants.

Smaller Retailers

Trying to catch up with retail industry leaders is difficult enough, and they only continue to raise customers’ expectations by putting creative new ideas into practice. For example, Walmart recently announced a new in-store returns process for online orders that takes less than 30 seconds to complete. Additionally, Amazon is planning to make more products available for free two-day delivery by taking on traditional shipping companies like UPS and FedEx.

So how can smaller retailers try to keep up with the pace? Thirty second returns may not be possible, especially for those without the vast physical footprint of Walmart – or no brick-and-mortar presence at all. And as we know, services like free shipping and returns are never truly “free.” The costs can quickly add up when you consider how shipping rates from most national carriers jump every year on top of operational impacts like seasonal items that can’t be restocked and resold fast enough. However, smaller retailers can start to compete by just shortening their return timeframe – and there are plenty of ways to begin that don’t involve huge costs or infrastructure investments.

One way is to move processing closer to the customer. This will allow customers to receive refunds faster or get an exchange back in the mail quicker. While this may seem expensive, it will actually save retailers money in the long run. Faster returns and exchanges not only results in happier, returning customers, but it also gives customers their money back quicker, allowing them to immediately start planning their next purchase. Additionally, with faster processes comes less frustrated customers, which reduces the number of inbound inquiries or call requests and allows retailers to allot the money they would spend on customer service to further improving their shopping experience.

…in today’s competitive retail landscape, companies must provide shoppers with a quick and seamless post-purchase experience.

If moving processing facilities seems like a big investment and a daunting project to undertake, don’t worry. You have options. By teaming up with an expert service provider such as Newgistics, smaller retailers can implement proven cost-saving solutions. With a nationwide network of facilities, we can quickly move returns processing closer to your customers. You don’t need to get involved in real estate transactions; you don’t need to staff-up a new facility; you don’t have to invest in the technology to run it. We’ve got it all in place already.

Additionally, Newgistics’ SmartLabel+ technology lets shoppers easily track the progress of their orders and returns online, providing them with more visibility while letting retailers cut down on labor costs and produce faster resale times. The best part? Newgistics allows retailers to automate the logistics process, so they can spend their time perfecting and selling their products instead of worrying about tracking packages.

To learn more about how Newgistics can help retailers offset costs while maintaining a strong post-purchase experience, please visit: www.newgistics.com.