How Should Retailers Handle Product Returns After the Holidays?
The use of a return merchandise authorization (RMA) application and other logistics software tools would be a good strategy to limit the cost of product returns, especially after the holiday season.
While Thanksgiving and Christmas are still a few months away, retailers should start planning early on how to avoid covering the expenses from returned merchandise. A study showed that retailers handle the most product returns every January of each year.
When choosing the right RMA application for your business, think about how you would want your customers to initiate the process. Some of the most common ways of initiation include in-store returns, hotline calls, online form submission, or requests done via the mobile app.
It’s important to choose a software provider who can give you a platform that covers different scenarios for RMA initiation. Understanding the most common type of returns will also be important. Customers return clothes more than any other product, followed by consumer electronics and beauty products. The National Retail Federation estimated holiday sales in 2017 to reach almost $692 billion, with around $90 billion of product returns likely done in February this year.
Recovering Business Losses
An in-store processing of holiday returns serves as the cheapest way of doing so, as it allows you to resell them faster. A caveat, though, involves handling in-store returns in moderation since store employees would then have to divert their attention from selling to processing clients’ requests.
Third-party logistics providers are the most expensive, but it allows you to focus on other important business matters while they take care of your RMA tasks.
Retailers should consider enlisting temporary assistance from third-party logistics companies for processing post-holiday returns, as it can be difficult to do it on their own. How do you plan to handle product returns ahead of the holiday season in 2018?