Most retailers with multiple channels or cross channels will have an efficient returns management system. Even those with no brick and mortar store, focusing solely on eCommerce will need a state of the art returns management system. This is despite there being only one primary channel. The diversity of products, multiple sellers and various fulfillment stores necessitate a multifaceted system because no retailer can avoid cross channel order fulfillment in these times. Having several channels complicates many aspects of management. Returns are not hard to track or manage if the company has lucid policies. However, accounting for returns is not enough. A returns management system should identify weaker channels or any specific supply chain that is failing in ensuring customer satisfaction repeatedly.
It is easy to identify the sellers that are repeatedly experiencing returns. eCommerce platforms have the advantage of documenting every action and response, from the information provided to the exact specifics of a deal. It is a little more difficult to ascertain at brick and mortar stores since salespeople involved in a transaction may be a cause for increasing returns. Beyond this difference, both eCommerce and retail stores will need to assess the actual reason for returns. There is always a possibility of a particular link in the supply chain to be a cause.
Fulfillment stores or warehouses may go wrong in processing an order. This will lead to an outright return, whether a wrong product is delivered or the purchased product is delivered to a wrong address. Delays will increase the chances of returns so the logistics need to be assessed as well. Customers returning goods is not always as simple as them not liking the product or having changed their mind for no apparent reason. There are always issues pertaining to the shopping experience or customer satisfaction, which is the sum of all channels and links in the supply chain working in synergy.
A returns management system must be able to assess the weaker link in the chain. This could be the causal factor in increasing returns for a given channel or across channels. In most cases, returns can be traced back to a singular or a few definitive reasons. These reasons must be addressed. In the absence of a returns management system promptly identifying the weaker links in the chain, innumerable customers may send their purchased goods back and there can be a significant loss, most of which could be avoided if the causal factor is addressed.