Returns Got You Down? Meet Omnichannel Return Technologies

Ecommerce saw significant growth in sales estimated at 39% in the last quarter of 2020. Experts claim it’s the highest growth seen in the last 13 years. The drastic change obviously causes a struggle for retailers who don’t have any online presence or a  strong organizational structure to support an online operation. Lack of the above caused approx 1000 manufacturers to cancel orders worth 1.5 billion due to the pandemic, according to Bloomberg. This dramatic situation has been the inevitable result of not only insufficient stock levels but also the fact that the inventories were not managed across channels. At this point, most of the retailers have taken measures to adopt omnichannel technologies for their organizations. The ultimate goal is of course to have full and unified control over inventories so that the inventories can become accessible across all channels.

Omnichannel technologies can solve problems at different points of the shopping process. One example is that while customers are headed to online shopping, the return rates keep increasing as they are not able to try, feel and see the product as they do in a physical store.  Standard return rates of physical stores ranging from 8% to 10% have risen to approximately 20% for e-commerce, according to CBRE. That means optimizing the return process now is actually as important as optimizing the shopping process. Returning purchases is a complex logistic process that can cause stock errors, delays, and extra logistic costs as well as customer complaints. The good news is that with technology that enables omnichannel return capabilities, the pressure on retailers can be lifted. Let us see how.


Omnichannel Returns Accommodate Customer and Store Needs

Customers have many options when it comes to buying, such as buy-online-pick up-in-store (BOPIS) or reserve-online-pick up in-store (ROPIS). In that respect, the omnichannel algorithm fulfills their expectations but they also need to have the flexibility of returning their products to experience a convenient end-to-end shopping process. 

With a centralized omnichannel order hub, the returns can be tracked and managed as well as the entire inventory from a single point. Return processes should be part of a true order hub as the life of an order can continue after fulfillment.  Such a system also should give retailers the power of monitoring their operation in real-time helping them minimize any errors. Return processes are usually divided into several manual phases which are followed and managed tediously by employees which usually creates a lot of effort on the operational staff.

However, an operation that has a comprehensive OMS or centralized order hub in place will automatize and conveniently minimize the effort needed to run the operation. The efficiency gained will result in many positive ways, such the staff concentrating on their customers or product information. Also, the impact of adopting an omnichannel approach will certainly be realized by customers as they will have the power of flexible delivery and return options. Now the retailer can sit back and enjoy both having the most optimal fulfillment algorithm fitting to business needs and an increase in customer satisfaction level.

With Shopi’s Omnichannel Order & Inventory Hub, you can have all these capabilities in one platform. It will provide you full control of your inventory.  You will be able to display order status as well as return processes in real-time. Check out the benefits of having an Omnichannel Order Management System in detail from the related blog article ( and contact us to meet your needs for a better operation.