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Hyper-Local Logistics: Transitioning from Cost Recovery to Revenue Generation

Furniture World News Desk on 9/26/2023

Guest byline from Jorja Leavitt, Co-Founder and COO of Sharetown

Furniture and Bedding retailers excel in various facets of business — selling high-quality goods, cutting-edge designs, and cultivating exceptional customer service. However, many face logistics challenges and high costs related to product returns.

Drawing Inspiration From Bed-in-a-Box Companies

Interestingly, this issue is not unique to just one industry or vertical. Bed-in-a-box companies experienced a similar struggle but ingeniously turned it into an opportunity. These companies had to grapple with the challenge of returns when the decompressed product could not be restored to its original, boxed and rolled form.

A solution emerged through forming partnerships with companies that offer cost-free, in-home pickups, managing the entire return trajectory — from the initial in-home pickup to the resale of the returned product.

For retailers that do this, the focus shifts from cost recovery to revenue recovery.

Utilizing Hyper-local Logistics

Central to this strategy is the application of "hyper-local logistics." Essentially, this refers to keeping operations localized in close proximity to the customer's location. Companies like Sharetown practice this approach.

By maintaining a returned item within a local area, this type of solution bypasses the costly logistics of shipping back to a warehouse, storing, and then distributing again. The product transitions directly from the customer's possession to another interested party nearby.
This has  advantages. It curtails shipping costs significantly and minimizes the environmental impact of long-haul transport.

Transitioning from Cost Recovery to Revenue Generation

This fresh approach to dealing with returns changes the game. Instead of looking at returns as an unavoidable cost, they can become a potential revenue source.  Surprisingly, this approach doesn't require making trade-offs. It's a straightforward solution that benefits customers, companies, and our planet.

Think about the potential benefits for your brand - better customer service, increased efficiency, and a new source of income.

The bed-in-a-box industry has showcased that innovation can create solutions to longstanding problems. They've blazed a trail, and it's incumbent upon us to follow suit. By rethinking returns, we can leverage them to our advantage. It's time to redefine the returns status quo.

About Jorja Leavitt: Jorja Leavitt is the Co-Founder and COO of Sharetown, a sustainable all-in-one; reverse logistics, overstock, and recommerce solution for brands that sell oversized items such as furniture, mattresses, and exercise equipment. Established in 2012, Sharetown’s approach to streamline returns from in-home pickup to resale has helped leading brands recover costs, maximize revenue, and improve customer satisfaction. For more information, visit sharetown.com Jorja can be reached at jorja@sharetown.com