Retailers should be regularly evaluating all their ecommerce despatch processes according to Jonathan Bellwood, founder of Peoplevox. This includes the efficient handling of returns but this is often an area which gets overlooked and causes particular challenges.
Jonathan points out that, customers have the option to return or exchange unused goods because they have simply changed their mind, provided goods are in original condition and the sooner the retailer can make the refund or have the exchange shipped out, the better. Stock can be booked back into inventory and it keeps the customer happy.
Today Jonathan share’s his top tips for organising returns in your warehouse:
Managing Returns in the warehouse
Dedicate a specific area of the warehouse and assign a member of staff to check every order for defects or for repackaging.
Deal with returns on a daily basis as they arrive, the quicker the stock is booked back into inventory the quicker it can be resold.
Your warehouse management software should allow operators to scan all necessary barcodes when repackaging an item, eliminating the need for any typing or careful human work, besides maybe folding. Not only does this save time, it also reduces the chance of a mistake being made.
Clearly prevention is better than cure, so ensuring your online product descriptions accurately depict each item can help to avoid any misunderstandings for the customer when the product is delivered. Use multiple high-quality photographs and succinct yet descriptive copy that includes all important information such as measurements, colour, or necessary product care.
Spotting problem products
Customer reviews are often a very good way of having these issues flagged up before the customer makes their purchase, particularly with women’s fashion, where sizing can generally vary between manufacturers.
Also keep track of just how many returns have been received and the reasons why. A warehouse management system will allow you to have full visibility on every item, as well as logging the reason for every return. Armed with this intelligence, you may be able to identify a common trend in your returns and take appropriate action.