Last week’s RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas was packed full of networking and informational sessions. So much so that we decided the event needed two blog posts to really dive into the details (if you missed, part one, check it out here). 

Accordingly, here are a few more topics covered including sustainability, wireless and mobility, and cross-border returns:

Sustainability in the Aftermarket 

In this panel, the participants discussed different options for sustainability and how each of their companies are contributing to a greener future. Among these initiatives are Volume Reduction, by:

  • Diverting more product to franchises 
  • Reselling damaged products to employees 
  • Educating customers with 360 imagery of products 
  • Developing packaging design that features education
  • Leveraging the secondary market 

Another tactic included redefining what a product’s life is: By selling into a secondary market, we take the product from “end of life” to “next life.” Another important part of this is challenging the status quo and setting KPIs that go beyond profits—understanding value can come from more than products sold. One such key metric is knowing and understanding WHAT your carbon footprint is, in order to properly tackle its reduction.

Wireless and Mobility 

As the technology market flattens, this creates a tremendous opportunity for the secondary market when it comes to recovery. National networks are evolving, creating new outlets for the devices. In addition, today’s phones can be updated over and over again, which allows them to retain their value the second and even third time they’re sold. 

Second Life is Just the Beginning
Consumers are starting to see the value of trade ins and providers are now holding on to phones an average of 32 months, proving that devices retain quality past their model version. The worldwide market for used smartphones is expected to grow to 333 million devices with a resale market value of $67 billion by 2023, according to IDC.

More Trust = More Opportunity
Perceptions are changing when it comes to “used” and “refurbished” phones. Consumers today are saying “no” more and are thinking twice before buying new devices. In addition, there is more trust in the channel, which lends itself to these opportunities—harnessing the right data, tools, and collaboration opportunities ensure a higher level of integrity for devices than ever before. Having confidence in the supply chain means that you can trust the entire cycle, from the OEM to the retailer, to the warranty and repairs. And, refurbished products are now available in more and more reputable places. 

Cross-Border Returns 

Global ecommerce is growing at a fast pace. Worldwide, consumers purchased $2.86 trillion in 2018, and the market is expected to grow to $4.9 trillion by 2021. Half of all cross-border consumers admit that having a wider range of product options is a key drive to purchasing internationally. But as they venture, they also have expectations:

  • 79% won’t make purchases from a store that charges for shipping
  • 72% expect a refund within five days of making a return 
  • 58% want a hassle-free return policy 

As returns become more and more prominent, companies are consumers are shaping the way in which stores manage the process. The bulk of returns come from clothing and accessories (75%), followed by electronics (33%) and shoes (18%).  

If one thing is for certain, returns cannot be ignored. And when you consider that every country has different laws and customs regulations, the cost of international returns can sometimes be higher than the original outbound cost. One thing is for sure—proper alignment and integration and finding creative transportation and outsourcing are key. 

If you’d like to learn more about B-Stock and how we’re managing areas of each of these topics, contact us!

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