Cainiao Smart Logistics Network , the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, today announced the launch of its reverse logistics channel to offer cross-border e-cmmerce goods return service to Hong Kong customers.
Approximately 85 per cent of the goods bought on Alibaba’s eCommerce platforms – Taobao and Tmall, and delivered by Cainiao, will be eligible for returns within seven days. Non-returnable goods include food and health products/ supplements. There are plans to launch a direct reverse logistics channel with Mainland China in other key markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Macau and Russia.
The streamlined reverse logistics channel comprises 42 drop-off locations across Hong Kong island and a digital customs clearance system. The entire return process can be monitored in real-time by customers on the Taobao app.
Currently, the eCommerce industry lacks a stable and cost-efficient reverse logistics channel to cater to the needs of merchants’ and Hong Kong customers due to challenges in customs clearance and cross-border logistics. Industry data revealed that the return rates in eCommerce sits at approximately 20 per cent, and this figure surges to 30 per cent during holiday season. However, without a reliable goods return service, 31 per cent of the customers have kept unwanted items to avoid the hassle of returning them. With an easier return experience, 96 per cent would shop with a retailer again.
“Today, goods returns form an integral part of the holistic online shopping experience, and central to good customer experience and loyalty. Therefore, we are aiming to simplify the returns process with the launch of the first reverse logistics channel between Mainland China and Hong Kong, and deliver a more seamless and fuss-free shopping experience amid the eCommerce boom. As Taobao and Tmall’s official logistics provider, we are continuously leveraging cutting-edge technology and industry partnerships to create a more efficient cross-border logistics service to benefit businesses and consumers,” says Ray Cheuk, Head of Operations (Hong Kong), Cainiao Network.
This announcement comes after the recent launch of its delivery guarantees to provide assurance and offer protection against late deliveries, damaged and lost goods, while offering value-added services such as customer support via WhatsApp and goods returns.