E-commerce or … returns under special care

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E-commerce or … returns under special care

Online sales are growing. Not without obstacles. In addition to the challenge of completing various orders in e-commerce, companies are struggling with the problem of a high number of returns (frequently their number reaches 50%).

According to a report prepared by HRC Advisory, the management of returns is one of the main challenges for e-commerce. IT systems are necessary as well as modern storage solutions. The matter is of great importance: it is estimated that improper refund management can reduce the e-commerce profitability by up to one third.

In accordance with applicable regulations, the on-line buyer has the right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days. The market has accustomed e-consumers that they can count on free shipping of purchased products. Therefore, it is not surprising that now they expect that e-stores take on themselves the cost of returning the purchased goods.

While free returns can be an inseparable part of the functioning of large stores, in the case of small and medium-sized entities this solution can be a problem. In order to estimate the costs of introducing such policy of return of goods, the average monthly or annual percentage of services operated by the shop should be calculated above all.

The convenient and best free return of purchased goods is an important value that customers expect from e-stores. The Blue Media survey shows that for over one third of online buyers, the ability to return goods quickly and easily is one of the key factors to consider when choosing a particular store.

In 2017, the percentage of people who pay attention to return policy increased by 3 percentage points.

The price of the product is and will be a decisive factor in the selection of the store for a long time. Even so, more and more stores are realizing that you can not just win with price. That is why they are increasingly offering their customers the possibility of a convenient and sometimes free return of goods. This was influenced by the moves of big e-commerce players who accustomed e-consumers to free returns and made their market advantage out of it” – notes Krystian Wesołowski (Blue Media).

Ready-made solutions are already offered, which simplify and speed up the handling of returns. They allow, among others, to issue a refund also in the case when the customer sent back only a part of the products from the original order or change the return channel (i.e. in the case when the client no longer uses a given bank, card or application). As part of Online BM payment, this is done using a dedicated administration panel, through a specially prepared website that can be integrated with any dedicated software.

While the problem of returning money does not seem technically difficult, things get more complicated with the physical return of the product and its re-launch

Operators ensure that they are willing to undertake this task.

In e-commerce, returning a product without giving a reason is common, as well as complaints for a specific reason. Therefore, we have developed a special process of handling complaints and returns not only in domestic but also foreign sales. We guarantee quick operation, checking the status of shipments and reporting on events. The products for further sale go back to their locations and when ordered are assembled once more. The client can observe everything in real time” – reports Raben.

Dedicated solutions that automate the return or exchange of goods have also popular parcel lockers

Szybkizwroty.pl (a Polish parcel locker provider) are easy to use, easy to integrate with the store through the API or operate directly through the website”- emphasizes the operator.

Modern sorters prove to be useful in providing a technical solution to the problem of returns. The task of warehouse managers is to send the returned goods back to the market as soon as possible. Winnie Ahrens (Dematic) emphasizes that solutions are based on one of three technologies, and each of these solutions can be an independent return system or can be closely integrated with the completion and implementation of new orders. These orders could be coming from customers buying online or in a chain of stationery stores (each solution takes into account, among others, the types of products and their packaging, the volume of returns, the number of warehouse references and the time in which the goods must be returned to the shipping location).

One of the „return systems” uses Put-to-Light technology and a high-speed sorter. Another offers a feature of automatic storage and dispatch of goods called Multishuttle, combined with ergonomic quality control stations for returned goods. In the third solution, the MonaLisa sorting system (MonaLisa Pouch System) is used, which allows goods to be transported using a suspended conveyor system.

The MonaLisa system allows you to store goods in dynamic picking loops, which make them very quickly available after a new order is called by the warehouse management system (transfer of goods to the packaging station).

Photo: Pixabay.com

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