What is Return Goods Handling in E-commerce?
Return goods handling is the process of managing the return of goods to a seller or merchant by a customer. This includes processing refunds, managing exchanges, issuing credits, and providing customer service.
It also involves reverse logistics, which is the process of returning goods from the customer’s location to the seller’s warehouse and the disposal of goods that cannot be reused.
Significance of Return Goods Handling in E-commerce Logistics
In today’s world of online shopping, customers often expect to be able to return items they purchased if they are not satisfied with them. As a result, e-commerce businesses must have a streamlined process for handling returns. A smooth return goods handling is essential for e-commerce businesses because –
- It helps them maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers who can easily and quickly return products they don’t like or don’t need are more likely to shop with that business again.
- A clear and efficient return process demonstrates that a business values its customers and is dedicated to providing high-quality products and services.
- Return goods handling is also important because it helps e-commerce businesses reduce their losses. By quickly processing returns and issuing refunds, businesses can minimize the money they lose due to returns.
- Additionally, restocking returned items and reselling them helps businesses recoup their losses and increase their profits.
Prerequisites to Calculate Return Goods Handling and How It Works
The prerequisites include –
1. A valid purchase order for the returned goods.
2. A return authorization number from the supplier.
3. A detailed inventory of the items being returned.
4. Proof of purchase or an invoice for the returned goods.
5. Shipping paperwork and tracking information for the return shipment.
6. A record of the costs associated with handling the returned goods.
7. A policy for the treatment of returned goods (e.g., resell, discard, etc.).
8. A process for crediting or refunding the customer’s account.
Use Case With Return Goods Handling
A real-life example of return goods handling can be seen in the retail industry. For instance, when a customer returns a product to a retail store, the store must process the return, offer a refund if applicable, and restock the returned item. The store must also handle any paperwork associated with the return, such as a refund form or return authorization. Additionally, if the customer returns the item due to a defect, the store must also ensure that the item is fixed or replaced before it can be resold.