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Australian Etailers Are Neglecting Back-end Operations, APT Says

Australian online retailers are failing to efficiently handle product returns from consumers who buy online, according to a new study released by online research firm APT Strategies.

The report - 'Successful eFulfillment: the last mile in e-business', which surveyed 8,438 Australian online shoppers over the past year, found that return rates on products were reaching up to 30 per cent.

The report shows that many etailers are racing to develop online front-end strategies and interfaces without due consideration about fulfillment, logistics, customer service and returns processes and systems.

"Our research indicates that e-fulfillment is an afterthought driven into the forefront when crisis occurs," said e-business analyst and report co-author Paul Koffler.

"We recommend that the traditional retailers continue to reconstruct their logistics and fulfilment processes or segregate their bulk delivery systems from their one-to-one Internet channels to compete with dot com rivals," he said.

A further recommendation of the report is for etailers to partner with service stations and convenience stories. APT Strategies e-business principal and fellow co-author Anthony Rosenberg said the number of respondents surveyed who used service stations rated highly.

"The after hours accessibility, convenience and location of service stations and convenience stores provide an excellence opportunity to capitalize on the e-fulfillment revolution," he said.



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