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PARCEL collection network Hubbed has launched Hubbed Returns, a returns management platform that enables SME retailers to offer customers an automated returns service that uses the Hubbed network of 2000 locations Australia-wide.

Hubbed launched the platform in tandem with its research that revealed 98% of Aussies shopped online in the last few months, and 36%returned items from those online purchases.

As Australians continue to shift their spending habits online, retailers can expect an uptick in returns this year, which is often recognised as one of the costliest services for retailers.

The hosted Hubbed Returns platform allows retailers to redirect their customers from their shopping sites to a ready-built returns page. Retailers can brand and customise their returns page through an admin panel to ensure a seamless experience for the consumer. In this way, the platform requires no technical integration and also features a flat-rate pricing model. The streamlining of the returns process enables retailers to redirect resources from returns to sales and fulfilment.

Hubbed scans each return at the collection point, notifying the retailer of the return receipt almost immediately. This enables the retailer to release a refund or credit note to customers faster (if their returns policy allows) rather than when the package arrives at a carrier depot or the retailer’s warehouse.

The platform also simplifies the process for consumers, with a location-map feature that enables customers to select a nearby Hubbed drop-off point for their returns.

The Hubbed network includes bp service stations, National Storage, Snap Printing, MBE (mailboxes etc.) and independent retailers – many of which provide parking, are accessible after-hours or provide secure facilities for parcel storage. Hubbed Returns is available at selected locations within its collection point network.

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The new Hubbed survey also found that nearly three times the proportion of young shoppers return items than older shoppers: 48% of 18-50-year-olds returned purchases compared with just 18% of over-50s.

More NSW shoppers (43%) and ACT shoppers (41%) returned goods after the Christmas and January period than shoppers in other states.

Hubbed CEO and founder David McLean said, “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Hubbed Returns. Knowing that returns is a common pain point for retailers, we established an easy-to-manage returns solution that simplifies the process for both retailers and customers.

“It also provides end-to-end returns visibility, from the moment a customer books a return to when the order arrives at a drop-off location.

“Hubbed Returns not only provides a more affordable solution for retailers but also eases pressure on customer service staff.

“The ability for retailers to release customer credits faster through our service, if their returns policy allows, can also help increase buyer loyalty.

“Faster reimbursements may motivate customers to purchase more with a Hubbed retailer partner over another.”

Hubbed Returns is priced at $49.95 per month plus $8.50 per parcel for retailers and includes access to the Hubbed collection point network, a customisable returns portal and return freight tracking.

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