“Customers want fast service and convenience – both when it comes to ordering and returns.“
The number of packages that are being delivered and returned on a daily basis is rapidly growing – resulting in increasing costs for retailers. Jacqueline Korber, Sales Manager Europe at Melissa Data GmbH explains how retailers and merchants can save time and money with better digital address management solutions.
Ms. Korber, easy and convenient merchandise returns are an absolute must for today’s consumer. What challenges are retailers facing in this setting?
An efficient returns process and optimized warehouse logistics are key success factors for today’s online retailer, because customers want fast service and convenience – both when it comes to ordering and returns. This presents challenges for both retailers and shipping companies alike. That’s why retailers should offer a wide variety of shipping options to make returns easy and convenient for their customers.
The holiday season marks an increase in returns. Retailers must assist customers quickly and effectively and should brace for rising costs as a result of hiring holiday workers and a time-consuming return process. The only way to efficiently solve and master these challenges is by using the right software technologies.
How can retailers reduce misdelivered packages due to a wrong address for example?
Since product returns are a time-consuming and costly endeavor, retailers can avoid extra work by directly integrating an address validation solution in their online stores. This enables them to reduce costs and prevent shipping mistakes or returns as a result of incorrect information. It also ensures timely delivery of parcels.
In some cases, shipping services require prior address validation to simplify coding and allocation at the distribution center. Some carriers will charge retailers a fee per package if the coding process does not work due to an undeliverable shipping address. Retailers can minimize this cost by using an address verification solution or an address autocomplete feature in their system.
What address management trend do you see for the coming years?
The world is becoming more globalized and foreign markets are becoming more accessible. This affords companies the opportunity to enter international markets. To stay competitive, businesses should take advantage of address management on an international level right from the start.
Having said that, this also entails some risks apart from great opportunities. After all, online retailers are especially in the crosshairs of cybercrime. Just in Germany alone, online fraud costs e-retailers billions every year. That’s why fraud risk prevention is a key component of data management. Many great solutions assist with digital identity verification. In the course of digitization, secure, fast and convenient customer onboarding and a Know Your Customer (KYC) policy will play an increasingly important role.
What’s more, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) 2018 or DSGVO (Datenschutz-Grundverordnung) requires businesses to protect personal data and privacy of EU citizens as violations can result in serious fines. That’s why companies will have to turn increased attention to data hygiene and security in the future.