May 29, 2015
Consumers are doing more and more of their shopping online, which creates new challenges for ecommerce sites, especially when it comes to returns. Returns cost ecommerce sites like Amazon a TON of money every year, to the tune of $4B in losses just for Amazon in 2014 (if every dollar lost was a pound, that would actually be about two million tons, but who’s counting), and midsized e-retailers absorb a high rate of product returns, which average about 30% of all online sales.
There are several companies working in the world of ecommerce solutions, and TrueShip is one of them. For years, TrueShip has offered a variety of software solutions to improve shipping and fulfillment processes. However, they realized they had been overlooking a huge problem in the world of reverse logistics. With that in mind, they’ve recently launched ReadyReturns, a software that helps businesses automate, analyze, and hopefully reduce the rate of returns.
I asked founder Chris Dunn some questions about TrueShip and their new product ReadyShip.
What are the ecommerce problem(s) are you solving with ReadyReturns?
“We’ve developed an automated online product returns system called ReadyReturns to help (e-retailers) better manage and also reduce the rate of returns. If you have ever returned an item to Amazon or Zappos, then you already know how ReadyReturns works. ReadyReturns drops into the pages of virtually any website to give customers a way to process their product return and create a return shipping label at their convenience. In the back-end, ReadyReturns helps forecast who is returning what and when to expect it. ReadyReturns helps gather analytics of the return so that the e-retailer can learn more about why items are being returned; something that can enable them to make subtle changes to reduce the rate of returns.“
How did the idea for the ReadyReturns software come about?
“Consumers increasingly prefer to shop online and expect the same level of service from an e-retailer that they would from a brick and mortar store. So when an online purchase results in a return, it’s not the easy checkout process that the consumer remembers, it’s the hassle and cost of the product return.
When the return is a hassle, the e-retailer loses a customer. ReadyReturns is about improving customer retention and attracting new sale opportunities. With return rates on online purchases averaging around 30%, we saw a real market value for an automated, enterprise-grade product returns system. After brainstorming the feasibility, we decided that our next big project would be to make offering Zappos-like returns a possibility for any e-retailer.”
What are the backgrounds of the founders/core team?
“TrueShip was created out of necessity. I owned a mountain bike accessory business in the late 90s, during the heyday of the dotcom boom. The business excelled as a wholesale enterprise, and I built a distribution network that covered 17 countries as a result.
As a small business I realized that it was impossible for one employee to ship more than 10 individual orders per hour due to the manual labor and data entry involved. So, fully engaging ecommerce was problematic. My business was structured for wholesale fulfillment, not pick-and-pack ecommerce.
I decided to develop a custom software solution to help streamline fulfillment and ReadyShipper’s beta was born. This foundation grew into what would later become TrueShip, which now offers a suite of products to assist small and midsized businesses with ecommerce shipping and product returns. Later, we added ReadyReturns to help e-retailers deal with the reverse logistics.”
Image Credit: Flickr/lisaclarke
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