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How small businesses can avoid manage and minimise returns with Delhiverys reverse logistics

JULY 29, 2021

From the times of caveat emptor (buyer beware), India has come a long way. More so with online shopping. Today, many online sellers offer no-questions-asked returns by default. In addition, many apparel sellers offer try-and-buy options. If your sale is a cash-on-delivery transaction, your customer can simply decline the product without even having to pay for it. Hassle-free returns are one of the biggest allures for online shopping in India.

For sellers, though, returns are a huge challenge. For example, KPMG found a couple of years ago that “return shipments in e-commerce retail constitutes ~18-20% of total shipments.” For a small and medium enterprise (SME), this might significantly impact the top line, cash flow, and even profitability.

In short, the problem is: Customers want the flexibility of returns. But sellers find that it costs significant financial overheads. What do we do?

We, at Delhivery, believe that the solution is efficient reverse logistics.

What is Reverse Logistics?

It is the series of processes that get triggered when a shopper decides to return the goods they bought earlier. Good reverse logistics companies ensure that the customer is refunded and the product is returned to the seller efficiently.

Many small and medium enterprises have strict returns policies because reverse logistics is both expensive and tedious. However, with robust reverse logistics management, they can offer the flexibility that customers demand without impacting the bottom line very much.

How SMEs can leverage Delhivery’s Reverse Logistics to Serve Their Customers Better

#1 Avoid returns with efficient order handling and delivery

The best way to manage returns is to avoid them. We believe that Delhivery’s primary advantage is precisely that. Delhivery SME ensures that your product reaches the customer’s doorstep safe and sound. By avoiding mishandling, product damage, delivery delays etc., we minimise returns.

To achieve this, we:

  • Pick up, pack, transport (with temperature-controlled freight options) and deliver your products across 19,000+ pin codes all over India.
  • Deftly handle products that need special care such as odd size, hazardous goods, fragile items etc.
  • Offer same-day, next-day, or any time-defined slots to ensure products reach the customer as soon as possible.

#2 Manage returns effortlessly with a robust reverse logistics system

Delhivery’s end-to-end logistics management solution offers the same level of efficiency in returns processing as it does in delivery. Once a return request is raised, our system identifies, tracks, and delivers the products back to your warehouse so that you can address the issue as soon as possible. There’s more.


Delhivery’s reverse logistics systems are on high alert when an order is categorised as cash-on-delivery. Our delivery executives take the product to the customer. If the customer pays, all done! We’ll transfer the money to your account as per the process. However, reverse logistics is automatically triggered if the customer declines to accept the order or pay for it.

Your product is then safely returned to your warehouse without you needing to intervene at any stage.

Return to Origin (RTO) predictor

If orders are returned due to invalid customer address, unavailability of the customer during delivery, or failed attempts to redeliver the order, the Delhivery RTO predictor automatically categorises as returns and lets you decide how to proceed with the order. For example, once Delhivery flags an order as ‘High Risk’, the seller can implement additional checks to reduce the possibility of return and save significant logistics costs. This way, you will have complete visibility and control over all your products, even those that are undeliverable.

Real-time tracking

Delhivery SME’s dashboard offers you a clear view of the statuses of all your orders, including returns. With real-time tracking, you can also see how far away from your warehouse they are and plan for refurbishment or reselling accordingly.

#3 Minimise returns with intelligent analytics

While returns are inevitable, you can certainly reduce the number of returns you get overtime. Delhivery’s data science capabilities and real-time dashboards are designed to help with precisely that.

With Delhivery:

  • Get real-time visibility into cancellations and returns
  • Track cashflow of returns and cash-on-delivery items
  • See patterns in your reverse logistics to understand what is being returned and why

Customers like to see, touch and feel the product before they buy it. Unfortunately, even as you build a stellar website to emulate that experience, you can only do so much online. As a result, returns are par for the course for every online business. To offer hassle-free returns to your customer without burning a hole in your profits, you need an e-commerce grade logistics partner.

Try Delhivery SME today.

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