Introduction to Returns M...

Introduction to Returns Management in E-Commerce

Jun 23, 2023
  • Returns management encompasses all the activities involved in managing the return of goods from customers back to the seller or retailer.

  • Providing easy returns can not only contribute to a positive brand image and reputation but also lead to increased sales conversions.

  • While it is not compulsory for companies to invest in expensive product return management software, the lack of proper planning can slow down the delivery fleet and adversely affect customer satisfaction.

Returns are the new normal in the retail industry. Whether it was a simple change of mind, a defective item, or unsatisfactory customer service, shoppers have returned their purchases for a wide variety of reasons. According to survey results from National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail, 16.6% of all products were returned on average last year. The rates tend to be even higher for companies that solely rely on e-commerce sales or worse, offer free shipping for returns.

Given the high cost and frequency of returns in today’s retail landscape, the implementation of a proper returns management process is more crucial than ever. Doing so will not only enhance warehouse inventory and supply chain administration but also help identify opportunities to promote sustainability by controlling reusable assets such as packaging. 

From the benefits and challenges of offering returns to tips on getting started, this article will serve as an introduction to the world of e-commerce returns. Additionally, you can also expect to gain valuable insights from Justin Irvine, Director, Global Head of Product at SEKO ECommerce, as he shares his expertise on returns management in the retail industry. Let's dive in!

What Is Returns Management?

Returns management refers to the process of handling product returns in a systematic and efficient manner. It encompasses all the activities involved in managing the return of goods from customers back to the seller or retailer. Returns management is a crucial aspect of supply chain management, particularly in the e-commerce industry, where customers have the convenience of returning products purchased online.

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