Are you equipped to manage your returns effectively?

A good return policy can serve your business both as a marketing tactic and a tool to build trust with your clients. In fact, having a return policy has become an industry norm among brick and mortar and e-commerce alike.

You may offer your clients the option to return a good if there’s a defect. Or maybe, they’d like to swap it with something else. Depending on the situation, they could get store credit, additional discount or even a full refund. The point being that these policies vary from seller to seller, but the question then arises, are you equipped to manage your returns inventory?

In this blog post, we will take a look at the benefits of inventory returns and strategies to manage them better.

Benefits

At first glance, returning goods does not indicate a good sign for your business. However, there are some hidden benefits to them if you look closely:

Improved customer service
Giving your customer the option of returning will help boost trust towards the brand:

  • Use returns as a post-sales prospect to garner positive reviews
  • Deliver excellent customer service to build a positive brand image.
  • Positive brand image will gradually churn into brand loyalty.

Increased Revenue
Customers returning goods to you can also be seen as an opportunity for a new sale. How? With efficient returns management, you can:

  • Offer store credits to your clients quickly to satisfy them
  • Motivate customers to repeat a purchase

Strategies

Now that we have seen some potential benefits, let’s talk about how you can manage your returns better.

Serialize Your Inventory
The first and the foremost task is to serialize your inventory. Track your goods at every stage – pick, ship, as well as return. Serializing them will allow you to keep a record of all the products as soon as they leave or return to the warehouse.  All the relevant information related to the SKUs will be at your fingertips.

Integrate with WMS
Make sure your inventory tracking is integrated with your Warehouse Management System. You will have full visibility into what stock is on hand vs. the returns. You can also track their location in the warehouse, keep them away from  defective ones and make sure that similar products are not being shipped out.

Reports and Analytics
You may be good at managing your returns and compensating the client in due time. However, if you’re not aware of the origin of the problem, there’s no point. A key strategy to keep in mind is to locate the ‘why’ behind the returns. Inventory based reports and analytics can give you insights to improve your services.

In conclusion, returned goods give you the chance to learn from consumer’s minds and adapt accordingly. It is important that you stay competitive, and managing returns efficiently is surely one of the ways to do so. Take a look at how the Clear Spider can help to manage your inventory better.

 

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