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5 TIPS FOR MAKING RETURNS PROCESSING

SMARTER, MORE EFFICIENT, AND COST-EFFECTIVE By Rafael Zimberoff

R

eturns can be a thorn in the side of any shipper, no matter when in the year they may happen. Sure, there are certain times of the year that result in more returns than others (holiday rush, anyone?) but with

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the continued growth of e-commerce, companies are having to deal with more and more returns year-round. The peak season only adds to the complexity, as most merchants focus on fulfilling outbound sales during the holidays, letting the returns pile up until after the

rush. This approach can have a negative effect on their bottom lines, since less than half of returned goods are re-sold at full price. If a merchant wants to protect profits, waiting until after the holidays to deal with returned merchandise no longer works as a business model. Regardless of whether return shipments flow in during the holidays or not, the increasing number of these packages — and the erosion they can have on margins — makes it even more critical for companies to improve their returns processes. Strategies and technologies that standardize and automate workflows can help the returns department work at peak capacity at any point during the year, regardless of the sales surge. So, whether you are trying to simply get a handle on your current returns volume, or you are already thinking ahead to the 2019 peak shipping season (and the subsequent inbound package flow that inevitably follows), here are five tips to minimize the effect returns have on your company’s profits.

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