B-Stock urges retailers to utilise technology to improve the cost of soaring returns

B-Stock is urging retailers and distribution centres to utilise technology and data to improve the reverse supply chain process.

With CBRE reporting that 30% of online purchases were sent back last year with ecommerce returns expected to rise 15% year-on-year, the sheer volume of returns can be overwhelming for the channel. However, B-Stock – an auction platform for returned, excess and other liquidation inventory – says this logistical challenge can be improved and even solved.

“Technology in the forward supply chain has improved in leaps and bounds, and the industry is just now paying attention to how technology can streamline reverse logistics and liquidation,” said Ben Whitaker, EMEA Director at B-Stock.

“One way to survive the strain, is for online retailers to incorporate technology-based programmes to efficiently move and sell merchandise that was previously slated for liquidation.”

More and more returned inventory – regardless of condition – is now being sent directly for liquidation. B-Stock says this is true for some of the world’s largest retailers and is due primarily to the cost associated with processing items back on shelf and newer technology-based liquidation methods available that produce much higher recovery rates for the merchandise.

For example, an online auction solution like the one offered by B-Stock, allows retailers to make more money on their liquidation inventory by selling to thousands of business buyers (versus negotiating offline or worse, landfilling).

B-Stock’s B2B liquidation marketplace platform sets up an online auction dynamic where retailers and manufacturers can sell directly to a diverse base of approved business buyers in a competitive online auction environment. The company says this “drives greater demand, higher pricing and a faster sales cycle”, while maintaining the brand control the retailer needs.

Whitaker added: “There are lengthy decisions to be made when returned stock arrives at the warehouse. Online auction platforms can provide retailers with more opportunities for their stock to be sold at the maximum value which saves time and recovers money.”

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