Get return on returns

3 strategies to minimize international return costs

Expanding your e-commerce operations internationally is an exhilarating move that promises broader market access and increased sales. Yet, this expansion comes with its set of challenges, particularly in managing logistics and returns, which can significantly affect customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

Let’s explore this issue through a hypothetical scenario: envision a French apparel company that has ventured into markets such as Canada, Australia, and Japan. While international expansion has escalated its sales, the company also faces the daunting challenge of costly international returns. Statistics suggest that up to 30% of all online purchases are returned, each return affecting your bottom line. However, managing these returns doesn’t have to be a headache. This article outlines three innovative ways to effectively manage and reduce these costs:

Solutions overview:

  • Return-by-return
  • Speed Bulk
  • Domestic Returns Hub

Each strategy is outlined below with details on how they operate, their benefits, and which type of business they best serve.

1. Return-by-return

Optimize your international returns with our Individualized Returns strategy, leveraging direct integration with top courier services like UPS, FedEx, and DHL Express.

How it operates:
When a return is initiated, customers ship their items directly to their chosen courier. Our platform utilizes sophisticated API technology to handle all aspects of the return process, including providing all necessary customs information to ensure complete and accurate documentation.

Key benefits:
This method streamlines the returns process by automating customs documentation, reducing errors, and speeding up the process, making it efficient and easy for customers globally.

Best suited for:
Businesses with moderate return volumes looking for a simple solution, newcomers to international markets, and companies that prioritize ease in their returns strategy as they expand globally.


2. Speed bulk

Our Speed Bulk solution is perfect for handling large volumes of international returns by grouping them into single shipments.

How it operates:
Returns are gathered at a domestic hub where they are scanned and logged. When sufficient returns accumulate, they are grouped on pallets and prepared for a consolidated international shipment, streamlined through coordination with customs and carrier partners.

Key benefits:
This strategy expedites the refund process by centralizing returns, easing customs complexities, and boosting customer satisfaction. It also enhances the returns handling efficiency, thus lowering logistics expenses.

Best suited for:
Businesses facing growing return volumes in new international markets, companies seeking efficient solutions without heavy investments in local returns infrastructure, and organizations that value quick processing to uphold superior customer service.


3. Domestic Return Hub

The Domestic Return Hub solution focuses on maximizing efficiency and control by consolidating international returns at a local hub before they are sent to the central warehouse.

How it operates:
Returns are initially sent to a nearby hub, which reduces early transport costs and time. At the hub, each item is thoroughly inspected to ensure it meets stringent quality standards before being organized into pallets to optimize space and minimize transport costs. Redirecting goods to outlets, charities, or disposal can occur early if needed, while best-sellers can be stored and swiftly dispatched to the next customer directly from the hub.

Key benefits:
This stategy not only streamlines the restocking process but also strategically positions popular items to expedite order fulfillment. It cuts down on environmental impact by reducing shipping frequency and optimizes transportation expenses while focusing on retrieving only prioritized sellable products to protect profit margins.

Best suited for:
Companies desiring stringent control over their returns, eager to optimize logistics costs, and committed to sustainability by reducing transport volume and frequency. This solution is especially advantageous for firms planning strategic placement of high-demand products closer to customer bases for fast replenishment and enhanced customer satisfaction.
By implementing these strategies, e-commerce businesses can efficiently manage international returns, enhancing profitability and ensuring customer satisfaction across global markets.


Together with our partner Inretrn we help brands overcome the chaos of returns. With IMI GO! under the hood for managing return shipping and goods receipt, and Inretrns powerful return experience platform on top we turn returns into a well-oiled machinery.

Learn more about Inretrn and how we can help you take full control of your return experience.

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