The Role of Returns in e-Commerce with Paul Bello

The convenience of being able to return a product so easily has revolutionised our online shopping experience, with customers now able to shop for a multitude of items, which previously would only have been possible in physical stores.

Many large e-commerces have embraced this approach, with companies such as Amazon, Asos, Zappos and Zalando being amongst the first to popularise easy returns and introduce policies far more generous than was previously possible.

In this episode of LokadTV, we welcome Paul Bello from Revers.io, a company that aims to facilitate customer returns, to discuss with us this change of mindset. We go into more depth on how returns have become such a truly important part of the e-commerce industry and the various impacts that this ease of returns has on a supply chain.

Retailers estimate that around 30% of the items sold online will be returned by customers. We can easily say that this mass of returns has actually created new markets. We learn why this strategy can be challenging from a logistics perspective and discuss how the burden is gradually shifting from the consumer to logistics providers to redistribute stock back to the main hub.

In addition, we try to understand more about the impact that easy returns is having on the environment and how, with customers not being required to drive to a hypermarket, this approach can even be argued to be ecologically beneficial.

Finally, we discuss the future role that returns will take in our shopping experience and debate whether a day will actually come where physical stores do not exist at all, considering just how easy it is to buy and return items.