Berkshire Grey Press
Berkshire Grey Helps eCommerce Retailers Solve the $120 Billion Returns Problem
The new AI-enabled Reverse Logistics solution helps eCommerce retailers and 3PLs accelerate resale of returned goods by reducing the processing time up to 25% with robotic automation
BEDFORD, Mass., January 12, 2022 — Berkshire Grey, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGRY), a leader in AI-enabled robotic solutions that automate supply chain processes, today introduced its Reverse Logistics solution to help retailers accelerate the resale of returned goods and improve labor utilization in the returns process. Projections indicate that by the end of January, consumers will return approximately $120 billion of goods following the holiday season, creating a significant inventory and cost challenge for retail. By implementing Berkshire Grey’s Reverse Logistics solution for returns processing, eCommerce providers and retailers can reduce the time to recirculate returned items back onto the shelf and optimize labor productivity, ultimately improving profitability.
“Returns processing has a significant adverse impact on the real profitability of eCommerce,” said Steve Johnson, President and COO of Berkshire Grey. “As online shopping continues to grow, returns operations, while more critical than ever post-holiday season, are struggling to keep up. By applying robotic automation to optimize reverse logistics processing, eCommerce retailers and 3PLs have an opportunity to change the equation for eCommerce returns and turn a negative into a positive.”
Consumers expect free, no-hassle returns for their online purchases. Those ‘easy’ returns have been a major driver for eCommerce growth, especially in categories such as apparel, footwear, electronics, and luxury items. But for eCommerce retailers, returns processing is neither free nor easy. The average cost of an eCommerce return, regardless of item value, ranges from $20.75 to $45.25 when factoring in the costs of transportation, processing, and markdowns/liquidation to resell. To reduce the impact of these costs, retailers need to focus efforts on increasing the resale of previously purchased goods.
“A great reverse logistics supply chain can be a valuable profit contributor to a retail company through its ability to optimize the resale of returned merchandise at full price,” according to a Gartner report.*
Berkshire Grey’s Reverse Logistics solution helps decrease markdowns by speeding up returns processing to get goods back into inventory or moved to refurbishment up to 25% faster than manual processing. In addition, the solution reduces processing costs by improving labor handling efficiency by up to 35%. The Reverse Logistics solution includes Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Product Sortation with Identification (RPSi) and Robotic Shuttle Put Wall (RSPW) systems, both of which are specifically configured to efficiently process returns. BG RPSi systems allow 3PLs and other central returns processing centers to pre-sort incoming packages by brand and merchandise category prior to opening and inspecting the merchandise. BG RSPW systems will rapidly sort returned products for faster put away to resell and/or refurbish. Both systems improve labor utilization and speed up the overall returns handling process to make returns less costly and ultimately more valuable to sellers.
*Gartner, “The Contemporary Guide to Retail Supply Chain Excellence: Part 3 — Returns and Recommerce”, Tom Enright, November 29, 2021.
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
About Berkshire Grey
Berkshire Grey, Inc., (Nasdaq: BGRY) helps customers radically change the essential way they do business by delivering game-changing technology that combines AI and robotics to automate fulfillment, supply chain, and logistics operations. Berkshire Grey solutions are a fundamental engine of change that transform pick, pack, move, store, organize, and sort operations to deliver competitive advantage for enterprises serving today’s connected consumers. Berkshire Grey customers include Global 100 retailers and logistics service providers. More information is available at www.berkshiregrey.com.
Berkshire Grey and the Berkshire Grey logo are registered trademarks of Berkshire Grey. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.
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