With the rapid growth of consumer sales being fulfilled through omni-channel retailing, the purpose of this paper is to explore the subsequent impact on the levels of consumer retail returns experienced through online sales and the emergent returns management strategies being affected by retailers in relation to network configuration and returns management processes.
The authors uses a mixed methods approach from an interpretive perspective. It is appropriate to describe the approach in terms of convergent design, since the authors have collected both qualitative and quantitative data.
Return rates for online retailing can be double those for stores, while return levels for “considered purchases” remain similar. The findings suggest that omni-channel returns management has yet to fully mature and the authors find challenges for network design and returns processes in offering a seamless solution.
For practitioners the authors identify a number of challenges and offer insights to improve performance in returns management process, while for academic colleagues the authors propose a number of avenues for further research both in the qualitative and quantitative fields.
While a significant body of extant literature exists, in researching the generalized retail returns management process this paper make a contribution by addressing the emergent managerial implications of omni-channel retail returns.
Bernon, M., Cullen, J. and Gorst, J. (2016), "Online retail returns management: Integration within an omni-channel distribution context", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 46 No. 6/7, pp. 584-605. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-01-2015-0010Download as .RIS
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