11 Benefits of Returns Management for Small Domestic Appliances

11 Benefits of Returns Management for Small Domestic Appliances

Are you struggling to efficiently stay ahead of the volume of small domestic appliances you’re receiving? Or do you want to increase cost savings and improve your processes?

A suitable returns management partner can do all this and more, enabling you to focus on your core business strategies.

Ingram Micro Lifecycle manages returns for global OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and retailers. We’ve refined our processes over two decades using close collaboration with our customers.

Below, we discuss the benefits of partnering with a returns management provider.

What is a Small Domestic Appliance?

A Small Domestic Appliance is a portable or semi-portable household electrical product. These assist with practical tasks around the home and personal grooming.

These include electronics such as vacuums, juicers, toasters, blenders, and curling tongs. It excludes larger appliances such as washing machines and fridge freezers.

Did you know that 84% of the UK population own a vacuum cleaner? That’s quite a large proportion that could want to issue a return at some point!

SDA product graphic cloud

In 2022, the global SDA market was valued at $185.49 billion, and is expected to grow to $271.23 billion by 2030.

The purpose of a returns management partner

An inevitable part of manufacturing and sales, there are many reasons why people return purchases. Returns peak following seasonal sales periods, such as Christmas and Black Friday, but occur year-round.

It’s part of the product lifecycle that you must prepare for and aim to mitigate wherever possible. By choosing a returns management partner, the responsibility of receiving, processing, and handling the onward movement of these returns moves off-site.

The returns management partner receives the product directly. They process the product, assessing it to determine the suitable outcome. These can include refurbishment and repair for onward resale, or responsible recycling.

The partner will need the appropriate infrastructure so these activities are swift and efficient. This ensures the greatest recovery of any residual value from the returns.

Benefits of utilizing a returns management partner

Below, we list some of the benefits of moving your SDA returns management from in-house to outsourced. Your business can focus on core strategies without negatively impacting customer satisfaction or your environmental footprint.

1. Global reach

The footprint of your chosen returns management partner should mirror the scale of your operation. This enables the receipt of returns wherever your business is active. Choosing one partner to cover all locations is more efficient and cost-effective than contracting partners in different countries.

Having a global reach enables the resale and repurposing of products across a wider network. This includes sales distribution channels and access to recommerce platforms for refurbished goods. Your refurbished goods will reach a wider network in which to generate sales at the greatest value.

2. Reliable infrastructure

An experienced returns management partner will have a streamlined end-to-end reselling process. This ensures rapid returns turnaround to limit depreciation, quickly preparing products for resale.

Technicians should have the skills and know-how, alongside ready access to OEM parts and official repair manuals to enable the highest quality repairs and refurbishment.

They’ll also need specialist equipment and technologies to enable rapid and reliable processing.

3. Financial stability

Having a returns management partner with a reliable financial background will protect against risks. You need appropriate cover should anything go wrong.

Failing to have this could result in monetary or reputational damage to your brand.

4. Comprehensive returns services

The partner should offer the full end-to-end suite of solutions that cover the receipt of the product through to potential resale. As with having a global footprint, it’s more efficient to have one partner that can manage the full scope of returns than multiple partners offering different parts of a solution.

5. Expert support

Alongside fully trained and skilled technicians, you’ll have access to value-added services, such as a customer contact center. These work in parallel to the returns management solution, complementing the package and offering customer guidance, both online and via telephone.

Your customers will receive assistance from experienced customer service representatives who are intimately trained on your product.

6. Product expertise

The returns management partner will take the time to learn your product inside and out, passing the knowledge on to all employees representing your brand. Documentation such as repair guides and instruction manuals will be referenced to ensure efficient processing of returns and accurate end-user communications.

Through OEM accreditations, they’ll have access to genuine replacement parts so repairs and refurbishments are conducted to the highest standard.

7. Versatile repair methods

The best returns management partners will have the agility to experiment and use innovative techniques within their processes to improve efficiencies and drive down costs without compromising on quality. They’ll use multiple technologies to find a solution that can be tailored to suit your needs, delivering the best outcomes.
Dialogue within the relationship should be open, enabling the processes to mold for your specific needs, rather than having a one-size-fits-all approach.

8. Qualified technicians

With such a range of products falling under the SDA umbrella, you need to be sure that those handling your returns will have the expertise to do so effectively.

The technicians will be skilled in repairs and refurbishment across a breadth of products within the category. Where suitable, there’ll be specialists within one particular product range.

9. Quick turnaround

One of the key benefits of outsourcing your returns management is improving efficiencies so that products are processed much more quickly. The technicians handling your devices will be more skilled and adept at understanding the intricacies behind returns management and so will naturally process more quickly.

This is an important factor in improving end-user satisfaction and enabling value recovery. A slow process may delay end-user communications, which can be an issue if a refund is required. This impacts brand loyalty and customer retention.

10. Sustainability focus

Enabling the reuse and/or resell of returned SDAs reduces the amount of technology that results in e-waste. Metrics around this reduction and the carbon emissions avoidance from extending the lifecycle of returns support your ESG objectives.

A good returns management partner will be able to provide data for these which you can in turn use in stakeholder reports, for example.

11. Root cause analysis

The returns partner will compile end-user feedback and become knowledgeable on common issues. This can feed into the development of end-user materials, such as instructions and user guides.

Information around common user misunderstandings can be fed to the customer services team and improve returns avoidance.

Product strip downs enable intimate parts analysis for design improvements.

Ready to find a returns management partner?

We’ve demonstrated that there are multiple benefits to utilizing a returns management partner for your small domestic appliances. A speedy turnaround, fuelled by expert insight into your product, enables maximum value recovery and a smooth end-user experience. Taking the management of returns off-site enables your facilities to focus on core business functions, enabling you to be more strategic.

Ingram Micro Lifecycle offers a full end-to-end returns management solution. All returns are screened to a set specification to enable intelligent onward routing for testing, grading, repair, or refurbishment. SDAs are dispositioned based on their cosmetic and functional status, recycling compliantly and minimizing waste where devices are beyond repair.

Get in touch with us today to discuss how our solution can be tailored to your needs.

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Unlock the key advantages of Ingram Micro Lifecycle's Reverse Logistics—get our infographic now to discover the top 10 reasons why Small Domestic Appliances thrive with our expertise. 👇👇

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