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Whereas in the past the focus was primarily on outgoing goods flows, retailers with an online store today increasingly need to be able to handle a variety of product returns, both in terms of logistics and financial aspects. Customers expect this to be handled quickly and smoothly.
Make the returns process as simple as possible for the customer
Ensure that the financial processing is smooth and free of errors
Put the returned products back into the inventory as quickly as possible
Retailers with successful online stores face new challenges. After all, customers can easily order the same pair of trousers in three different sizes online and then return the two pairs that don’t fit. Alternatively, a customer could order a product online and then return it to a brick-and-mortar store because it is faulty.
Retailers can create fans at this stage of the customer journey too. They can do so by making the returns process as simple as possible for the customer and then ensuring that the financial processing is smooth and free of errors. After that, the returned products need to be put back into the inventory as quickly as possible.
Returns processes can be rather complex. The returned goods need to be inspected. Are they fully intact? Are the products still in their original packaging? Are they damaged? A host of different follow-up steps are then required based on the results of this inspection. This can vary from drawing up the necessary documents to determining the amount to be refunded to launching the logistical process and actually completing the financial processing. These different steps each fall under the responsibility of different people, and often lack a process owner.
Failure to streamline your returns process will inevitably lead to irritation and high costs for customers and retailers alike. That’s why we help retailers streamline their return processes and create satisfied consumers. We also combine this with a crystal-clear understanding of the margin ultimately achieved. This requires knowledge of and experience in optimising interrelated retail processes, such as customer engagement, transport management, warehouse management and financial processing.