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"Why a PIM system can reduce returns"

Excerpt: With the rise of online retailing, returns have also increased. For retailers, this means additional effort and costs. PIM software helps to manage returns by constantly optimizing product definitions.

The Corona pandemic has led to a global boom in online commerce. This is pleasing for e-commerce, but often goes hand in hand with costly returns management. The research group “Return Research” at the University of Bamberg estimates that around 315 million parcels were returned in Germany alone in 2020. Intelligent product information management (PIM) software helps online retailers optimize returns management. The volume of online mail order business increased by more than 17 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. 

“Since the restrictions on stationary retail were further tightened towards the end of the year, the increase is likely to be significantly higher throughout 2020. ” Dr. Björn Asdecker, University of Bamberg

However, more volume also means more returns, which represent a high logistical and cost-intensive effort for retailers.Whether the items can then be sold again as A-goods depends on the condition of the returns. In the fashion sector, return rates are particularly high; up to 75 percent are not uncommon, according to a study by the EHI Retail Institute. The products have to be checked to see if they can be put back on sale. 62 percent of the online retailers surveyed stated that processing for resale is not possible or is too costly.

Customers take advantage of free returns

In order to remain competitive, most online retailers offer free returns, and customers make frequent use of this service. Few people realize that this involves time-consuming quality checks, preparation, cleaning, repair and restocking of the items. In many cases, it is even easier for retailers to dispose of the goods. This approach caused great outrage, as in the case of Amazon, because sustainability and the CO2 footprint are increasingly becoming the focus of consumers. We show you how some returns can be avoided with intelligent PIM software.

Using PIM intelligently for returns management

Bad purchases often happen when product information is insufficient or incorrect. The customer can neither touch the product nor check it closely for quality or condition and therefore relies on a detailed description. Additional assets such as photos, videos and detailed instructions help to get a more accurate idea about the product. Digital shopping should be an experience for customers, just like shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

With a product information system (PIM), all product data is consolidated in one system; in this “single point of truth,” it is directly enriched and supplemented. Optimized product information can be sent to all sales channels from the same PIM system. Automation rules ensure that their customers always receive up-to-date, consistent and correct product information. Validation workflows keep data quality and accuracy up to date with the least effort for your staff.

Up-to-date data on all sales channels thanks to PIM

The use of PIM software eliminates transmission and communication errors. Defined release processes ensure data quality and constantly optimize product information; the conversion rate increases while the returns rate decreases. This means that up-to-date data is available on all channels, both in the store and in the stores. Even catalog creation becomes child’s play; thanks to print automation, the product data goes directly from the PIM system into a prefabricated layout.

It is important to record the reasons for returns and to use the valuable customer feedback to optimize the product data. This way, returns due to incorrect or insufficient descriptions will be a thing of the past in the future! 

See for yourself how prodexa PIM can be used effectively in your company. The best thing to do is to make an appointment directly with one of our specialists. We are sure to have a PIM solution for your returns problem.

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