ZigZag Global Makes Returns Simple and Sustainable for Retailers
Circular Economy Sustainable Fashion

ZigZag Global Makes Returns Simple and Sustainable for Retailers

Understory Team
Understory Team

ZigZag Global is a technology solution that not only simplifies the returns process for retailers and consumers but also makes these returns more sustainable. The company works with brands and retailers across 130 countries including Zara, Gap, and Luxottica.

Al Gerrie, Founder and CEO of ZigZag Global, spoke at Understory's 'Startups Driving Sustainability' Showcase in February. To watch the entire presentation, click here.

Consumers are often surprised to learn that a large portion of retail and e-commerce returns don’t end up back on the shelves for sale. Instead, the returns contribute to a growing waste problem. In fact, in the U.S. alone, approximately five billion pounds of returned goods go to the landfill each year1. And returns are on the rise, up 70% in 2020 over the prior year2. So the market need is significant.

ZigZag is trying to address this need by helping retailers with simpler, faster returns and getting returns back into the supply chain quickly so that items can be resold. Furthermore, ZigZag Global helps retailers establish paperless returns processes, and this digital transformation helps reduce unnecessary paper waste.

How does ZigZag work? ZigZag Global’s technology platform can be embedded into a retailer’s website’s backend return system. When the consumer initiates a return, ZigZag manages the entire process including collecting data about the return, answering customer service questions, producing shipping labels, and tracking the status until the end. The consumer experience is frictionless, which increases customer satisfaction.  Ultimately, better customer experience translates into customer loyalty and repeat business.

For brands, ZigZag Global provides transparency and insight into the end-to-end returns lifecycle. For example, retailers can gain better understanding in the following areas:

  • Where are returns coming from?
  • Which products are and are not being returned?
  • Which delivery carriers are damaging goods?
  • Who are serial returners and fraudulent customers?

On the sustainability front, ZigZag Global works with charities to place discarded items, keeping them from landfills. The company also partners with carbon neutral delivery fleets and facilitates paperless returns. Another aspect of the platform enables take-back programs. ZigZag Global is one of the emerging innovators in circularity innovation by closing the loop on e-commerce returns and prolonging the useful life of retail goods.

ZigZag Global announced its acquisition by Global Blue on March 8, 2021. The acquisition will further accelerate ZigZag’s global growth and extension into Global Blue’s extensive merchant network.

To learn more about ZigZag Global, watch the full Showcase presentation or listen to Al Gerrie, Founder and CEO of ZigZag, on The Understory Podcast.

[1] The Guardian. “The hidden environmental cost of your free holiday returns”. January 2, 2020.

[2] Morning Brew. “E-Commerce Returns Rose 70% in 2020”. January 10, 2021

Join the conversation.