FINANCE, BUSINESS STRATEGY
Software Advice | November 07, 2023
Small and midsize retail businesses (SMBs) are grappling with a challenging confluence of factors: a rise in product returns and escalating consumer demands for eco-friendly practices. Establishing a sustainable returns process has become paramount for recouping expenses and retaining customers. According to Software Advice's 2023 Retail Returns and Sustainability Strategies Survey, a remarkable 93% of SMB retailers place sustainability at the forefront of their approach to managing customer returns, with 58% identifying inventory cost optimization as a tangible advantage of their existing returns procedures.
To enhance their returns strategies, SMBs have adopted a diverse set of tactics, including logistics and packaging:
A noteworthy 59% of SMB retailers are now utilizing environmentally friendly logistics, up from 43% in the previous year.
The percentage of SMB retailers collaborating with third-party specialists to handle product returns has surged to 49%, a substantial increase from the 31% reported in 2022.
Right-sized packaging is embraced by 63% of these businesses, and 55% opt for recyclable or reusable shipping containers.
Smaller retailers are increasingly acknowledging the potential of returned products, if properly assessed, can be resold or recycled, thus reducing waste and recuperating some of the lost sales. In fact, recycling is deemed a top action in managing returned items by 51% of retail SMBs, followed closely by repackaging and refurbishing. Thanks to these measures, 35% state that they can recover over half of the cost of a returned product.
In addition to cost recovery, an efficient and eco-conscious returns process can boost a retailer's market standing. This year, 41% of retail SMBs report that their current returns process has heightened their competitiveness in the marketplace. An impressive 64% note a substantial increase in customer satisfaction stemming from their current returns process, a significant uptick from the 35% reported in 2022.
However, while sustainability endeavors are closely linked to customer satisfaction, 63% of SMB retailers concede that their company's actions do not align with their public messaging—a notable increase from the 46% recorded in 2022. To avert the disparity between actual efforts and messaging, it is crucial to effectively monitor the reverse logistics process. Leveraging technology such as point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, and business intelligence tools can furnish the transparency necessary to ensure alignment.
About Software Advice
Software Advice, established in 2005, simplifies the software procurement process by providing personalized guidance and industry-specific insights to help buyers identify the most suitable software solutions in as little as 15 minutes, all at no cost. The company has assisted over 950,000 businesses in finding the right software to meet their unique needs. With a repository of over 2 million verified user reviews, Software Advice empowers individuals to make confident technology decisions.
PR Newswire | November 03, 2023
Over three quarters (76%) of small business owners believe that their company is equipped to handle any upcoming economic instability, according to a new survey conducted by OnePoll and Melio – a leading B2B payments-as-a-service platform for small businesses.
With interest rates at a 22-year high, the survey finds that increased interest rates (61%), inflation (59%), and a looming recession (44%) remain top concerns for small business owners. However, despite the economic headwinds of the past year, 72% of small business owners feel more optimistic now about the financial prospects of their company than they did in January 2023.
"Despite the challenges posed by inflation and interest rates, small business owners seem to adapt to the current economic climate and demonstrate impressive agility and resilience" said Tomer Barel, Melio's president and COO. "Small businesses are the foundation of the economy, and it is critical that they have the tools to overcome future challenges."
In a year marked by high inflation, 62% of small business owners report having made tough decisions about their business. For example, 61% tapped into their savings accounts or took out a loan, 50% adjusted their prices, and 45% reduced the production of various goods and services. Additionally, nearly half (48%) of respondents raised their prices an average of 7% over the last six months – yet among those that raised prices, the majority of small business owners reported increases in repeat business (66%), sales (63%), and number of new clients (56%).
Small businesses are also continuing to embrace digitization. More than half (58%) of respondents reported increasing their digital presence in the last year, and three-quarters of small business owners believe that accepting forms of payments beyond cash is more important than it used to be. Moreover, the majority (53%) of small business owners are interested in digitizing or further digitizing their bookkeeping and payments.
"It's tough to keep a small business in business – SMBs are dealing with material cost increases across multiple areas such as input prices, salaries, rent, and capital costs," said Prashant Gandhi, Melio's CBO. "The silver lining is that 1 in 4 (25.80%) businesses are leaning heavily into digitizing their business. The team at Melio remains steadfast on the core tenets of our mission: giving SMBs choice, workflow automation, and insights in the platform of their choice."
Fielded in mid-September, the survey polled 1,000 small business owners about their financial wellbeing, how they are coping with inflation and interest rates, and how they are adapting in the face of economic headwinds.
About the Survey
This random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 small business owners (with a statistically significant amount of African American respondents, Hispanic/Latino respondents and female respondents) was commissioned by Melio between Sept. 6 and Sept. 13, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
Melio is a leading B2B payments technology company that enables small and medium-sized businesses to quickly and seamlessly transfer and receive payments, helping them improve cash flow and workflow. Melio offers accounts payable and receivable as a service through integrations with the platforms of financial institutions, software providers, and marketplaces, transforming how money is moved between businesses. Melio has headquarters in New York, an R&D center in Tel Aviv, and western U.S. headquarters in Colorado.
PR Newswire | October 27, 2023
Incline Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm dedicated to investing across the middle market, is pleased to announce its partnership with White Label Communications ("WLC" or the "Company"), a provider of private label communication solutions to Managed Service Providers ("MSPs").
Based in Pittsburgh, PA, WLC offers Atlas, a proprietary technology platform that enables MSPs to provide solutions to their customers via core operations such as sales, finance and reporting. Atlas also allows MSPs to deploy private-labeled customer communication tools such as VoIP, video conferencing, SMS and chat to their clients, typically small and medium-sized businesses ("SMBs").
"White Label Communications was founded in 2011 to create a simple solution for private label unified communications," said Tom Joseph, Founder and CEO of WLC. "Our partnership with Incline will provide continued investment and expertise to advance our technology platform, further enabling our MSP partners to grow their businesses."
"We are excited to support Tom and the WLC team who have built a differentiated and diversified platform," said Victor Martinelli, Managing Director at Incline. "To broaden the Company's private label solutions set, we plan to add complementary products through strategic acquisitions. The goal is to position our MSP partners to be full-service providers capable of delivering a complete set of essential solutions for their SMB customers."
About Incline Equity Partners
Incline Equity Partners is a leading private equity firm dedicated to investing across the middle market in distribution, business services and manufacturing companies. Incline is generally seeking growing companies with enterprise values of $25 – $750 million. Incline's typical investment types are ownership transitions for privately held businesses, buyouts and corporate divestitures within the U.S. and Canada.