The benefits of white-labelling returns

For 3PLs, postal operators, & parcel carriers
Apr 4
The benefits of white-labelling returns

In the fiercely competitive world of e-commerce, providing a seamless and efficient returns process is no longer a luxury — it's a necessity. As businesses strive to enhance customer satisfaction and streamline operations, the focus on the returns process has intensified. Retailers also want more from their tech and logistics suppliers. Merchants are including more complex requirements with each new tender process, asking for suppliers to be experts in more e-commerce verticals than ever before.

This is where the opportunity to white-label ZigZag's returns portal comes into play, offering a strategic advantage for third-party logistics providers (3PLs), postal operators, and parcel carriers to win parcel traffic, gain market share, and impress retailers with a full value package.

Our Global Partnerships Director, Matthew Jacques, delves into how white-labelling ZigZag's returns portal can transform your operations, increase profitability, and solidify your relationships with retailers and win outbound volume.

Matthew Jacques, ZigZag's Global Partnerships Director, delves into why you should white-label returns

1. Get involved with returns quickly

£7 billion, the cost of returns to UK retailers in 2023.

The first, and most obvious, reason to white-label returns is to get started quickly. Building your own technology from scratch, using your own developers and your own resource, is always going to take longer than an often speedy white-label solution. ZigZag for instance recently integrated over 100 retailers in just 8 weeks and getting set-up on the platform is just as quick.

But why is time of the essence? Well returns are continuing to boom across retail. Our research shows that consumers are more returns-hungry than ever before with almost half of UK shoppers (47%) considering themselves to be a 'regular returner’, costing UK retailers around £7 billion a year (DeliveryX Returns Report 2023).

So, the longer you wait to get involved with returns, the more potential revenue you wave goodbye to. So, decide to white-label today and get moving.

2. Strengthening retailer relationships

Offering a white-label returns solution positions 3PLs, postal operators, and parcel carriers as value-adding partners to retailers. By providing a tool that enhances customer satisfaction, reduces costs, and offers actionable business insights, logistics providers can deepen their relationships with retailers. This partnership approach fosters long-term collaboration, opening doors to more business opportunities and helping both parties grow in a competitive market.

Your sales team and account managers have no doubt put a lot of work into generating and fostering fantastic retailer relationships, why not keep hold of them whilst offering them new value-added services? White-labelling ultimately keeps you in control of your relationships.

3. Boosting brand visibility and trust

79% of UK consumers would not shop with a retailer again if they suffered a poor returns experience.

White-labelling allows 3PLs, postal operators, and parcel carriers to offer ZigZag's returns portal under their own brand. This not only elevates brand visibility but also fosters trust among retailers and end consumers. By providing a branded returns experience, these logistics entities can create a more cohesive and reassuring customer journey. This brand continuity is crucial for building loyalty, as customers and retailers feel more secure and confident in the returns process, knowing it's managed by a trusted partner. Every portal can be differently branded by retailer to create unique look and feel. The back-end (admin) platform can also be branded exclusively for the 3PL or carrier that is selling the platform to its client base.

79% of UK consumers would boycott a brand if they suffered a poor returns experience with 70% of shoppers under 43-years-old having switched brands because the customer experience didn't meet their expectations (, 2023). So, it is vital logistics companies continue to utilise a smooth returns process to impress shoppers and ensure they continue to use their service.

4. Enhancing customer experience

A seamless, hassle-free returns process is key to customer satisfaction. White-labelling ZigZag's returns portal enables logistics providers to offer an intuitive, easy-to-use interface for managing returns. This improves the overall customer experience, encouraging repeat business for retailers and, by extension, more stable revenue streams for logistics providers. By removing friction from the returns process, logistics entities can help retailers reduce cart abandonment rates and increase customer retention.

5. Boost revenue and get more involved

Become part of the wider  e-commerce ecosystem

It goes almost without saying that getting involved with returns through a white-label partner will open up a new revenue stream for your business, and a substantial one at that. It can cost retailers as much as 66% of the items original price to process a return, with a significant portion of that being attributed to transport alone. So, getting involved with returns will naturally increase your traffic and revenue.

However, it will also get you more involved in the e-commerce market overall. ZigZag’s white-label clients are often also its supplier partners for shipping and/or warehousing services, creating a great ecosystem for growth even outside their own white-label sales pipeline.

6. Operational and cost-saving efficiencies

ZigZag's returns portal streamlines the returns management process, leading to significant operational efficiencies. By automating returns, logistics providers can reduce manual handling, minimise errors, and accelerate the returns cycle. This not only cuts down on operational costs but also speeds up the restocking process, allowing retailers to resell returned items more quickly. Moreover, with ZigZag's dynamic carrier allocation feature, logistics entities can optimise routing based on cost, speed, and sustainability goals; further reducing expenses and enhancing profitability.

7. Reduce risk

Technology is temperamental. Particularly newly implemented or designed systems. For 3PLs, carrier services, and postal operators thinking about creating their own solutions, does the risk warrant the reward?  

More than a quarter of developers spend around 50% of their time fixing bugs with new technology, can you commit to this level of resource building, and subsequently repairing, your own returns portal? (, 2021)

Leveraging an established, tested returns solution minimises the risk of system failures and other issues associated with in-house development. Putting your brand on an already industry-trusted returns solution reduces the risk of your retailer’s customers being met with failed labels and broken portals.

8. Data insights for strategic decision-making

ZigZag surveys 6000 shoppers every year from the UK, Germany, France, and the US.

White-labelling ZigZag's returns portal offers access to valuable data insights. Analytics on return reasons, product performance, and customer behaviour patterns are gold mines for strategic decision-making. Logistics providers can use this data to advise retailers on ways to reduce return rates, improve product quality, and tailor their offerings to meet customer needs more effectively. These insights can also help logistics entities optimise their own operations, identifying trends, and opportunities for improvement.

White-label partners are often a great source of additional insight. For example, every year ZigZag research consumers across the globe to find out what they want from returns. We share this with our clients via whitepaper reports and events. In 2023, we surveyed 6,000 online shoppers, all of whom made online purchases within the past six months, to find out more about their expectations and behaviours during the returns process. ZigZag supplemented the data with insights from our own returns data collected from our retailers. You can download the report here >>

9. Sustainability impact

With an increased focus on sustainability, ZigZag's returns portal offers features that help reduce the environmental impact of returns. Efficient routing and carrier allocation reduce unnecessary transportation, cutting down carbon emissions. By facilitating faster restocking, the platform also minimises waste, contributing to a more sustainable retail ecosystem.

Offering a white-label solution that emphasises sustainability can significantly enhance the corporate image of logistics providers in the eyes of eco-conscious retailers and consumers.

Our own carrier network now has significant paperless availability. Naturally, our solution supports it, and we can be of assistance if it is an area you are looking to expand in. Across 2023, returning shoppers opted for paperless returns around 70% of the time. It’s both hassle-and-printer-free for the customers and saves millions of paper labels from being wasted.

10. Focus on what you do best

70% of British B2B companies outsource key business operations

65% of professionals believe that outsourcing helps them focus on their core business functions, and was their top reason for outsourcing in the first place (Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey). Around 70% of companies in the UK now outsource key operations (YouGov, 2019). Outsourcing the returns process to a specialised provider allows 3PLs, carriers, and postal operators to focus on their core logistics services.

Logistics is a challenging industry at the best of times. With rising fuel costs and the Red Sea Crisis the most recent additions to a long list of obstacles facing logistics companies, it is vital the workforce isn’t stretched too thin. By outsourcing certain business functions and white-labelling into areas of opportunity, 3PLs, postal operators, and carrier services can continue to focus on providing fast and reliable outbound and inbound services.

11. Access to the returns experts

Sometimes it’s just easier to bring in the experts from the start. White-labelling a returns solution gives access to the expertise of specialists who are focused solely on optimising returns management. At ZigZag, we have a fully dedicated white-label team, an experienced logistics team, and an industry-leading tech team that can get you set-up smoothly. We have plenty of advice and best practice to share with you so you can get the most out of your returns solution right from the start.

We also won’t ditch you after you’re set-up and running. Your dedicated Account Manager and the rest of the Client Success Team will be with you every step of the way. In fact, our Client Success Team has storied backgrounds in both retail and logistics, so ZigZag can empathise with any issues you may have currently as it’s likely we’ve already lived through them.

We even picked up the Customer Experience Award at DELIVER 2022 for our dedication to helping our clients.

12. If you don’t, your competitors will

Fashion retailers can experience return rates between 30-50%, even as high as 75% in womenswear.

Retailers selling online will naturally have returns. It’s a fact. They are an unavoidable part of doing business online and for fashion retailers in particular, it may amount to as much as 30-50% of all sales. So, whilst you may be competing with many other carriers for a retailer’s outbound orders, by white-labelling a leading returns solution, you could capitalise on a larger share of their inbound orders. Your competitors are likely also exploring this, or perhaps already have their own white-label solution, so it’s time you got yours.


In an era where the e-commerce returns process is as critical as the initial sale, the ability to white-label ZigZag's returns portal offers 3PLs, postal operators, and parcel carriers a formidable tool to increase profitability, enhance customer satisfaction, and strengthen retailer partnerships. By embracing this strategy, logistics entities can position themselves as forward-thinking, customer-centric organisations ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the modern retail landscape. As the e-commerce sector continues to evolve and tender requirements become more complex, adopting innovative solutions like ZigZag's white-label returns portal will be key to staying competitive and achieving long-term success.