The guiding principle of the e-commerce revolution has been to increase consumer choices, affordability and convenience, while simultaneously increasing opportunities for retailers small, medium and large to offer their products to a wider market. The application of information technology to innovate retail sales and supply chains has been crucial in facilitating this growth and overcoming obstacles.
Consumers are becoming more confident with online shopping and trying more cross-border shopping. This increased adoption of cross border e-commerce has enabled an even broader spectrum of merchants to reach an even wider global audience of consumers. It has also brought with it an array of challenges – regulatory, financial and logistical – that are unique to international trade.
The issue of returns is among the greatest challenges confronting cross border e-commerce retailers and online marketplaces in providing a more convenient shopping experience to global consumers. In any retail context, returns are inherently more complicated than outbound logistics, because they involve decisions about how to handle returned items. Returns in the cross border e-commerce environment introduce an extra layer of complexity.
As a premium expedited international service, it is logical for members of the EMS Cooperative to be prioritizing development of a returns solution. The hallmarks of the EMS brand – expedited transit time, on-time reliability, visibility, tracking and affordability – are consistent with the shipment of goods of high value.
Cross-border senders are just as likely to require the same standards of service for their returns as for their outbound shipments. A well-managed returns solution presents is an opportunity that EMS Posts are exploring.