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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2019

Klas Hjort, Daniel Hellström, Stefan Karlsson and Pejvak Oghazi

The purpose of this paper is to explore, describe and categorise practices of managing product returns empirically in internet retailing.

2086

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore, describe and categorise practices of managing product returns empirically in internet retailing.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study was conducted involving 12 e-commerce firms and 4 logistics service providers. An integrative data collection approach of semi-structured interviews, documentation and observations was used to gain comprehensive managerial and operational descriptions of returns management (RM) processes.

Findings

The findings show inconsistent RM processes, with a plethora of practices implemented and organised differently across firms. RM processes are ambiguous; their design is a result of incremental changes over time, lacking strategy and goals. There is a mismatch between how they are described and understood in the literature and how they are actually used. Practices in gatekeeping, avoidance and reverse logistics are defined and categorised. These serve as a typology of practices for managers to (re)consider, along with 15 propositions on how RM is practised.

Research limitations/implications

The range of RM practices and the processes reflect a lack of scholarly attention and strategic view. Research is needed to develop clear goals on how the RM process can be better aligned with business strategies.

Practical implications

The typology of practices is a benchmark for internet retailers in their design of efficient RM processes.

Originality/value

Systematic and empirical research on RM is scarce compared to forward management. The study bridges this gap as one of the first to describe RM practices in depth, define service as a key activity, and identify a mismatch between theory and practice.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2009

Mikael Lindeberg and Klas Hjort

The purpose of this paper is to present an update and the latest results from work on high aspect ratio “multiple wire” microvias in porous flexible Kapton foils for printed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an update and the latest results from work on high aspect ratio “multiple wire” microvias in porous flexible Kapton foils for printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Design/methodology/approach

Kapton foils are made porous by ion track technology and dry resist patterning. In combination with thin film deposition and electroplating the technology is used to define circuits and sensors with microvias made of many individual high aspect ratio wires. The processes are within the reach of many production environments and are suitable for flexible PCB fabrication.

Findings

The use of these novel processes enables new types of microvias and multiple wire structures in the foils for millimeter wave circuitry of substrate integrated waveguides and shielding, as well as for sensors with high thermal resistance.

Research limitations/implications

Today, through foil electroplating is fairly slow and more work should be made with copper electroplating. Ion track technology works well on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), and polyimide (PI) but should also be studied for novel polymer foils such as liquid crystal polymers (LCPs).

Originality/value

The paper details how ion track and PCB technology can be combined to enable a new type of through the foil via interconnect that consists of a multitude of wires. With these porous substrates, double‐sided circuits with high aspect ratio microvias and other multiple wire structures can be created using only lithography, thin film deposition, and electroplating. A new type of electrothermal sensorfoil is presented with several advantages over its competing micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) based Si sensors.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Klas Hjort and Björn Lantz

The main purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of consumer behaviour with respect to (r)e‐tail borrowing, performed under different (more or less generous…

1872

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of consumer behaviour with respect to (r)e‐tail borrowing, performed under different (more or less generous) delivery and return policies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was designed as a randomised controlled experiment with a random sample strategy. Among the 192,482 Swedish customers who had made an order at nelly.com during the previous 12 months and were to receive the quarterly nelly.com newsletter in November 2010 by e‐mail, 4,000 were randomly selected and randomised into four groups of 1,000 in each group.

Findings

The experiment revealed certain purchase and return patterns that support the conclusion that (r)e‐tail borrowing behaviour exists in fashion e‐commerce. Evidence was also found that lenient delivery and returns policies seem to reinforce (r)e‐tail borrowing behaviour, albeit not always in expected ways.

Practical implications

Differences in delivery and return policies seem to impact consumer purchase and return behaviour differently depending on the type of item. Therefore a more differentiated view of how to apply them is suggested. Offering the same delivery and return policies to all types of customers and products is generally not optimal with respect to profitability.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates the need to consider both delivery and returns policies together with customer and product categories simultaneously when applying them in an e‐commerce context.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Klas Hjort, Björn Lantz, Dag Ericsson and John Gattorna

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to empirically test whether a “one size fits all” strategy fits the fashion e-commerce business and second, to evaluate whether…

7746

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to empirically test whether a “one size fits all” strategy fits the fashion e-commerce business and second, to evaluate whether consumer returns are a central aspect of the creation of profitability and, if so, to discuss the role of returns management (RM) in the supply chain strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

Transactional sales and return data were analysed and used to categorise customers based on their buying and returning behaviours, measuring each customer's net contribution margins.

Findings

The e-commerce business collects a vast quantity of data, but these data are seldom used for the development of service differentiation. This study analysed behaviour patterns and determined that the segmentation of customers on the basis of both sales and return patterns can facilitate a differentiated service delivery approach.

Research limitations/implications

This research empirically supports the theory that customer buying and returning behaviours can be used to appropriately categorise customers and thereby guide the development of a more differentiated service approach.

Practical implications

The findings support a differentiated service delivery system that utilises a more dynamic approach, conserving resources and linking the supply chain and/or organisational strategies with customers' buying and returning behaviours to avoid over and underservicing customers.

Originality/value

Consumer returns are often viewed as a negative aspect of doing business; interestingly, however, the authors revealed that the most profitable customer is a repeat customer who frequently returns goods.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 43 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Stephen M. Wigley and Pammi Sinha

333

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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