Mobilized Returns Management Solutions Help Retailers Retain More Holiday Sales Profits
The joy of the holiday sales frenzy is often dampened in January, with the dreaded month of returns. However, streamlining returns management and reverse logistics processes will help you maximize those holiday profits, retain valuable talent, and avoid getting bogged down in a postseason slump.
Why Returns Management Processes are Important
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retailers can expect their return rate to jump to about 17.9% over the holidays, for a total of $171 billion in returns in early 2023. Many retail workers are already feeling burned out after the holidays due to long hours and a busy season. Dump a load of returns on them without a streamlined returns management strategy, and you may be risking losing the only people properly trained to handle the unwanted, defective, and broken items that come in.
Additionally, the longer a return sits in your warehouse, the more likely it is that the item will become out of season, out of date, or even obsolete. When you don’t have a system to manage returns quickly and efficiently, the value of returned items diminishes unnecessarily, further eating into profits.
A Clear Returns Management Plan and Mobilized Technology Minimize Post Holiday Return Profit Loss
In order to make the most of your holiday sales and minimize profit loss from returns, you need to have the following in place:
- A clear returns management and reverse logistics strategy
- Mobilization equipment that reduces waste and makes the most of existing labor
- Intuitive technology that makes it easy to process returns
1. Train Employees to Manage Returns Before the Barrage
There are several options for how to handle your returns based on industry and the condition of what is being returned, and each solution comes with a different set of steps. This is why it’s vital to make sure employees are trained in how to handle returns before the barrage begins.
- Undamaged goods may be able to be returned to the shelf for full profit recovery
- Damaged packaging could still recover partial profit being sold on clearance
- Defective merchandise may need to be shipped back to the manufacturer
- In some cases, the best profit recovery will come from scrapping the product, which will require disassembly and part sorting
Employees should know the process for each type of return and have the tools they need to organize and manage returns with ease.
2. Bring Work to the Point of Task for More Efficient Reverse Logistics
When workers have to retrieve returned items, take them to a fixed workstation for processing, then place them where they belong in the warehouse or on store shelves, individual items and entire pallets can pile up quickly, frustrating employees and extending put-away.
This situation can be avoided with mobile workstation carts that empower workers to process and sort returns, print labels, and determine the best next steps as the items or pallets are received.
A battery-powered industrial workstation cart creates order out of chaos by bringing work to the point of task. Carts can often be customized to specific applications, making them an invaluable tool in streamlining and standardizing returns management.
Reduce Worker Fatigue
Many mobile workstations come with ergonomic options that support better posture and proper work alignment, minimize repetitive motion, and reduce worker fatigue.
Advanced Battery Systems Support Extended Shifts
One challenge for retailers during an influx of returns is keeping their equipment powered throughout extended or additional shifts. However, there is no need to buy extra carts when you start with workstations that come with hot-swappable advanced battery systems.
3. Use a Warehouse Management System (WMS) Designed to Manage Retail Returns
A warehouse management system (WMS) with reverse logistics functions will help ensure items are processed as accurately and effectively as possible. With a comprehensive WMS, you can track orders and purchases in addition to connecting them to their corresponding returns.
Using a WMS with warehouse floor plan management makes it easy to locate where in the warehouse returned items should go without having to search. And adding a mobile computer workstation equipped with a WMS as well as the tools and shelves necessary to transport and put away items will give your workers something to jump for joy about during the season of returns.
Streamline and Mobilize Holiday Retail Returns for Less Headache and More Profit
Having a solid returns management and reverse logistics plan in place, mobilizing work to the point of task, and using a WMS that is equipped with features that support returns will help minimize the post holiday profit drain that retailers dread. An ergonomically-designed cart from DTG, with hot-swappable batteries and fully customizable attachments minimizes waste and empowers workers to get items back on the shelves or returned to manufacturers quickly and efficiently, maximizing the profits you earned during the holiday season.
Ready to see how our mobile warehouse carts can help you protect your retail sales profits and retain valuable talent? Request a demo today!