Omnichannel Retailing Complicates Successful Management of Returns
By: Logistics Viewpoints July 08, 2014
You're trying to do everything right to lure in online shoppers: You offer free shipping. Customers can return merchandise to a retail location. You even offer free returns through the mail. But this freedom for the customer can mean a lot of headaches and cost for you.
The demands of the omnichannel marketplace are not only changing the way companies fulfill orders, but how they engineer reverse logistics processes. While you need to please the customer, you also need to be profitable.
Consider this common scenario: Since you offer free returns through the mail, customers have a tendency to over-order various styles, colors and sizes, and then mail back the items they donít want. Now, you have a significant increase in returns coming in via the mail and perhaps through retail stores. How do you handle this efficiently and effectively? How do you ensure that the product goes back into inventory quickly so it can be available for sale again? You donít want to lose an order because it appears to be out of stock, but was actually returned to a store recently.