As e-commerce is set to increase by 17% this year, so will returns. This is particularly true with clothing and electrical goods as it has been reported that up to 40% of goods bought online are returned.

For retailers, returns are costly and time-consuming to process but they are inevitable as they go hand-in-hand with sales.

So how do companies turn this necessity into commercial opportunity?

According to Retail Gazette, Micheal Kliger, managing director of EMEA, eBay Enterprise, highlights that this can be achieved by streamlining processes, embracing omnichannel retailing and building customer loyalty.

However, recruitment company, CAST UK, which specialises in recruitment for procurement, buying, supply chain and logistics, says that the successful management of returns is down to the people.

“Reverse logistics is one of the biggest challenges retailers face,” says Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK.

“The key is to recruit highly skilled logistics professionals to manage the process as this ensures the flow of finished goods from consumers to the point of origin so they can recapture or create value on the goods.

“With the UK having retail sales over £321 billion last year, companies need to embrace reverse logistics to keep the industry flowing and ever-demanding consumers happy.”