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The benefits of digitized & automated returns management

The benefits of digitized & automated returns management

Currently, the most common method for processing a return is to use the same process as when e-commerce started in the late 1990s. In other words: a manual process with black and white paper forms, logistics jargon, and several inefficient manual processes that often result in MORE customer service cases.

Sound familiar? Let's dive in.

 

Why you need to automate and digitize returns management

A digital way of working allows you to: 

  • avoid handwritten return slips, 
  • re-convert 30 percent of the returns to new sales, 
  • keep customers up-to-date on return status,
  • work in a data-driven way and analyze returns in real-time,
  • and always keep track of how many returns are en route to the warehouse. 

And when you automate parts of the process, you can also: 

  • initiate refunds, 
  • reduce the processing time for a return by 90 percent,
  • allow your systems to "talk" to each other, and avoid manual processing of data,
  • and reduce the number of cases referred to customer service by 50 percent. 

 

Save 90 percent of handling time per return 

According to data based on the use of nShift Return by our customers, we can see clear savings in terms of time: a digital system (+automation) can help you save up to 90 percent per return in terms of pure handling time.  

A return costs an e-commerce business an average of 20 Euros, and that's without allowing for case handling by customer service, damage to the packaging, transaction fees, or freight charges. 

 

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… and 50 percent of all case handling for customer service! 

Allow customer service to spend more time on commercial activities and less on return management. Our studies show that you can use digitization and increased availability for customers to save up to 50 percent of the working hours that customer service spends on return cases. Instead, customer service can focus on the activities most profitable for your business. 

 

A digital return process is a customized return process 

In the same way that all other aspects of e-commerce are digitized, streamlined, and tailored to the consumer, you have much to gain from doing the same with your return process. Among other things, you can optimize customer loyalty while reducing the load on customer service.  

Win-win. 

 

What is re-conversion and why should it be digitized? 

Re-conversion is another word for carrying out an exchange or exchanging an item. We can simplify this further: the word exchange is used from the consumer's perspective and re-conversion from the retailer's perspective. 

For your role as a retailer, we see it as a re-conversion of a customer (and transaction) that would otherwise be lost. 

By digitizing the opportunity for re-conversion and making it a part of the return flow in the customer dialog, the chance of retaining the business increases by more than 30 percent.  

 

READ MORE: Read about how Royal Design re-converts 30 percent of all returns into new purchases 

 

nShift Return helps you to worry less and work smarter  

Using the basic module Consumer, you can tailor the consumer interface to your brand's guidelines, set up your market-specific rule trees, and offer your consumers an unbeatable return process. At the same time, you digitize your return management and, if necessary, automate your administration and bookkeeping. 

 

Digitize to improve the customer experience
  • Customer dialog
    By allowing consumers to register their return/refund claim or to exchange items digitally, you avoid handwritten and illegible return slips, among other things, that are then stacked in a pile gathering dust instead of providing valuable insights and data points. 
  • Shipping label
    In the digital customer dialog, the consumer can choose a shipping provider (if there is more than one option), and create a shipping label digitally/for printout before the return is then returned to your warehouse. 
  • Status updates
    You keep your customers updated on their returned items; if they have been received, processed, if the refunds have been initiated, or new items are sent. You get fewer cases from inquiring customers. 
  • Internal return management (customer service, inventory, management team, etc.)
    You know how many returns are en route, which is valuable information during peak sales periods. You can also use the data as a basis for discussions with subcontractors, carriers, or in presentations to the management team. 

 

Automate to save time

Through simple links (e.g. via API) nShift Return can supplement return information where necessary: 

  • Bookkeeping
    Through a simple link, you can smoothly digitize and automate the flow of return-related transactions. When a customer implements an exchange, nShift Return ensures that credit is issued and the new order is posted. 
  • Stock balance/inventory
    Ensure that the stock balance is updated automatically as soon as the return has been checked and approved by your warehouse personnel. 
  • Refunds
    Automation helps you to automatically create and initiate a refund. You decide when in the flow the refund should be initiated. 
  • Other systems
    With nShift Return's open API, you can smoothly and efficiently choose the systems you want to integrate with. Our ecosystem of integration partners is continuously growing, and we always aim to meet the needs of our customers. See all integration partners here.

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