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Four Ways To Leverage Your OMS For A Game-Changing Returns Strategy

Order Management System

2 years ago

By Ramesh Patel

There are $260 billion worth of returns across the globe annually, and 25 percent of them happen just after Christmas.

That’s why when preparing for the busy holiday season this year it’s important to not only focus on campaigns that drive brand awareness and conversions, but also a comprehensive strategy for quickly and effectively combating the inevitable post-holiday “returns rush.”

The key to expertly handling returns is a robust order management system (OMS) with machine learning capabilities that can correctly predict and address buyer behavior.

Here are four ways you can use an OMS to minimize the impact of refunds on your bottom line:

Execute a “Buy-Online Return In Store” (BORIS) policy.

Consumers expect a multi-channel experience, and that expectation extends to refunds. The newest UPS study shows that 58 percent of shoppers prefer to return merchandise that they purchased online to an in store location, and catering to this preference will mean your customers are more likely to buy from you again in the future.

If your brand does not currently offer BORIS you should consider implementing an OMS that will allow for it as soon as possible, since it is quickly becoming industry standard. In fact, according to the OrderDynamics Omni-1000 Research, 56.4 percent of multi-channel retailers and 82.6 percent of Click & Collect retailers allow BORIS already.

return policy

Use an effective returns strategy to give you a competitive edge.

WalMart recently began a campaign to differentiate itself from competitors this season not by product quality or price, but by a seamless execution of its (alleged) 35-second returns.

The trick to WalMart’s expedition is exceptional in-store organization and receipt-free returns, two major advantages of an advanced OMS. If you are struggling to gain brand recognition in the noisy ecommerce market, consider using lighting fast returns as your strategic delta.

Correctly identify “high return risk” shoppers and market to them accordingly.

Identifying chronic returners allows you to save money by addressing their tendency towards dissatisfaction before it becomes a problem.

For example, if you correctly ID’d a shopper as likely to return a shoe for a different size, you could instruct your call center to reach out with a different size suggestion based on their purchase history before shipping the product, thereby avoiding having to ship the same shoe in several different sizes.

As an added benefit, your customer will read this interaction as a form of personalization and feel well cared for by your brand.


Record your customers’ ship/pickup method preferences.

As in the example above, this type of personalization demonstrates your brand’s investment in your customer’s likes and dislikes and an implied acknowledgment that their time is valuable. It not only streamlines the returns process, but helps to keep a positive relationship with your customer for future transactions.

Even more importantly, it cuts time costs by automating the return flow according to what your customer wants, decreasing the need for returns supervision.

Interested in learning more about developing a returns strategy that can benefit your business? Please reach out using the form below!

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