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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Smith

6 Essential Tips for Product Returns Management

Product return management is one of the most valued topics in supply chain or eCommerce management. Having return management can improve your customer's satisfaction and help in enhancing a healthy supply chain. It is crucial to ensure proper sales and inventory management to manage returned products optimally. In this article, we will discuss essential tips that can be helpful in product returns management.

Product return is an unavoidable part of the eCommerce business, and you should handle it efficiently. You should analyze your returns, add a clear return policy, use RMA software, and partner up with a 3PL for better product returns management. There are several benefits of optimizing your return logistics. This includes improved customer experience, better profit margins, and reduced waste.

Source: Bigcommerce

What is Returns Management?

We generally view logistics as a process of delivering the product to the end customer from the warehouses. Consideration of the returns process is not generally an obvious choice for an eCommerce seller. Product return is when the product delivered to the end customer needs to be returned for any reason. This reverse logistics is an intricate aspect and is essential to consider when running an eCommerce business.

Another part is the proper management of the returned product. It can either be refurbished, disposed of, recycled, or reused. This return process can be very time-consuming and expensive with respect to running an online business. Partnering with a 3PL is an eminent choice for eCommerce and dropshipping companies for the proper supply chain management and returned product handling.

6 Essential Tips to Improve Product Returns Management

Product returns can add up to your total expense if not managed efficiently. Therefore, here are 6 essential tips that can help you improve your product returns management.

1. Understand the Expense of Returns

It is essential to maintain customer satisfaction by offering a good return policy on products. Customers appreciate it when a business offers them a free return on orders. Along with providing a free return, you should also keep a check on the cost incurred for the reverse logistics. Additionally, you should also check the amount of time it takes for you to handle returns and restock them back to your warehouse.

Studies show that 50% of online shoppers leave their product in the cart due to unclear mentions of return channels on the website. Adding a clear mention of free returns on orders can increase your overall orders that could cover up your cost for returns.

2. Have a Clear & Transparent Return Policy

You can also enhance the overall customer experience of your eCommerce store by mentioning a clear return policy. Ensure to make the return policy easily accessible, just like your shipping policy. You can also add a hard copy of the policy with the product when shipping it to your customer. These processes lessen the customer's frustration and put you and your customer on the same page.

3. Invest in a Return Management Software

Adding return management software to your business can effectively track all returns. Also referred to as Return Merchandise Authorization or RMA software, it allows businesses to manage their inventory effectively. It can help decide the purpose of returned products, such as recycling, refurbishing, or discarding. An RMA software can be beneficial in maintaining a transparent optimization of the returned products.

4. Analyze Your Return Orders

Every time a customer returns your product, try to understand the reason behind it. Always ask yourself why it was returned, and ask your customers for feedback so you can improve on your mistakes. Sort the returns into different variables like the attributes, product type, product manufacturer, etc. Analyzing these variables can be very helpful in finding a pattern and eventually allowing you to work on the problems.

When understanding and keeping a log of the return products, you can also sort out the customers that are "serial returners." These serial returners are customers who buy products due to a luring offer price and later return, costing you a loss. You can avoid sending offers and sales emails to such customers. Additionally, you can set trigger emails for such customers with positive feedback about the product to reduce the likelihood of product return.

5. Process eCommerce Returns Quickly

As per public surveys, 72% of online shoppers say that they would stop using an eCommerce store if they didn't get their credit by the fifth day of returning products. This implies that customers are more likely to return if you offer them a faster return processing on their orders.

6. Partner with a Fulfillment Center

Product returns management can be a hassle when you start scaling your business. Even if you utilize good software for your returns, it still could be a big issue. It would be best to ship the product through a fulfillment center in such cases. A fulfillment center can help you pack, ship, along with managing returns efficiently.

The two significant benefits of using a 3PL are,

  • It can bring down your overall shipping cost by finding the best courier company for your product.

  • The fulfillment partner handles returns, replacements, and other after-sales workloads.

Benefits of Optimized Returns Management

Since the product returns management process is similar to standard forward logistics, it also requires equivalent efficiencies. You can benefit from streamlining the process, like improved customer service, sustainability, and cost savings. Here are some significant benefits of streamlining your returns management.

Better Profit Margins

There are multiple ways of benefiting from reverse logistics. You can reduce transportation spending or resell the returned products at a base price to avoid any loss. If your entire system operates efficiently, you can easily improve your profit margins by recycling and reselling your products.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Product returns management directly affects your customer's shopping experience. A defective product can be a bad experience, and therefore dealing with it is the best way to improve your mistakes. You are responsible for making it right for the customer if they have trouble shopping with your eCommerce brand.

Offering free returns with every order can boost their confidence in your brand and convert them into returning customers. These can include a replacement, store credit, refunds exchange, return without original packaging, etc.

Faster Turnaround

An optimized setup for a product replacement can also improve your customer's experience. Having fulfillment solutions can speed up this process. You can also repair or refurbish returned items and list them with a refurbished tag at an offer price to keep it transparent with your customers. These processes can also cut down your need to restock new products quickly.

Reduced Waste

Product returns management can help segregate your products to reuse, recycle, or refurbish returned items that would otherwise end up in a trash yard. Besides improving your profit margins, it also conveys your brand's awareness of the environment and sustainability. You can extend a product's life by simply refurbishing or remanufacturing it.

Returns Management with Titan 3PL

If you want to step up your eCommerce game and partner with a reliable fulfillment partner, you can always contact Titan 3PL. We ensure the utmost care for your package and manage all your shipments and returns on time. Since nothing is perfect and can sometimes have rare accidental damages by the package carrier, we promise to take care of such incidents ourselves by dealing directly with the shipping company. Want to learn more about Titan 3PL? Contact us to know more about our shipping and product returns management policy.


Product returns management is an integral part of any eCommerce company. By putting proper processes in place, you can easily improve the customer service and boost your profits by simply repurposing the returned items. To get better and hassle-free management, partnering up with a 3PL like Titan 3PL can be the right choice. Third-party logistics can improve your fulfillment processes while you focus on scaling up your eCommerce business.

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