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Returns Management

Revolutionizing Returns Management: AI-Powered Reverse Logistics for Omni-Channel Retail

If your happy dance over surging 2017 holiday retail sales has slowed to an imperceptible toe-tapping thanks to skyrocketing returns, you’re in good company. Online returns across all retail industries are expected to be as high as $32 billion – that’s a huge chunk of the $107B in online holiday sales.

Recoup the highest recovery of net costs by considering goTRG’s one-stop returns management and reverse logistics solution. When you outsource the processing of returns to goTRG, the 3PL leader’s deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) tools make better and faster decisions about the disposition – restock, refurbish, donate or discard.

It’s no secret that January is the month when retailers and etailers get crushed by seemingly never-ending returns. The question isn’t whether there will always be returns; there will be. (Cue large-screen television returns after Super Bowl LII and jewelry after Valentine’s Day.)

“The process of effective returns management is time-consuming and costly for retailers and etailers. Inefficiencies associated with having to restock, liquidate, donate or discard returned online merchandise can break the bank for many companies,” says Sender Shamiss, CEO of goTRG, a leader in the implementation and execution of Omni Channel and Supply Chain Solutions.

Worse yet, statistics reveal the challenge is on the climb. While online sales increased year over year by almost 14 percent to $107 billion during the 2017 holiday season, Adobe Analytics forecasts almost one-third, or $32 billion worth of items purchased online will be returned (as compared with 10 percent of items being returned in brick and mortar stores).

Make no mistake about it, retailers and etailers are the ones who pay the price. When returns aren’t resold, and even when companies rely on recouping cash through liquidation, the cost of returns amounts to 4.4 percent of total revenue each year, according to a report released by CBRE in December 2017.

Bottom line: This isn’t about leaving money on the table, it’s about flushing cash down the toilet

Rather than focus on the challenges, Miami-based goTRG is offering a one-stop Omni Channel and Supply Chain solution to increase money-saving efficiencies. By outsourcing reverse logistics to goTRG, a third-party logistics firm (3PL), retailers can get the highest recovery of net costs.

When an item is returned, the process of reverse logistics begins along with the need for a cost-effective and efficient returns management plan. There needs to be quick determination about product disposition. Will it be refurbished and resold? Will it get donated or junked? Historically this is time-consuming and poor sorting decisions were often made.

The result? Ka-ching! More money to your bottom line.

That’s where goTRG comes in. The company’s proprietary automation platform, R1, uses artificial intelligence (AI) tools to make the highest margin decision in real-time, before the product has been touched or moved. R1 provides end-to-end tracking and control for every process from return to remarketing at a happy customer’s door. It engineers, manufactures and implements automation, robotics and deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) tools across its facilities to help the team make better, faster decisions for every single possible step in the reverse logistics and returns management process.

More specifically, goTRG’s 9040 AI Disposition engine automatically evaluates recent prices for items of like condition across multiple channels. These prices are compared against the cost to repair, repackage and transport an item. The optimal real-time decision increases efficiencies because no item is touched or moved unless it makes financial sense to do so.

“goTRG is the first end-to-end Omni Channel solution in the marketplace,” Sender said. “By embracing technology, specifically automation and robotics, we streamline workflows, improve accuracy, and reduce costs by embracing reverse logistics software and returns management technology.”

He also pointed out that his customers are enjoying extraordinary return on investment, increased efficiencies and can focus on their core businesses without getting mired in the returns management process.

“At goTRG, we take on the entire process from the moment the item is returned. This frees up the retailer to be able to concentrate on daily sales while ensuring the company receives the highest price for their returned items.”

- Full article available on Medium. Read on…

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