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Navigating January Returns: Optimising Warehouse Efficiency with Enterprise Connect

January 2024

As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season winds down in January, retail warehouses encounter a new hurdle - managing the surge in returns. The National Retail Federation estimates a staggering $148 billion in holiday merchandise is poised to be returned at a rate of 15.4%. This not only signifies a period for warehouses to recuperate from the holiday peak but underscores the critical role of efficient logistics and return management. 

Returns in January are a common aftermath of the holiday peak, with Christmas purchases playing a significant role in the surge. Be it gifts that missed the mark or an attempt to recover from the holiday splurge, e-commerce brands witness the highest volume of returns throughout December, January, and February. 

Common Reasons for Returns:  

The upswing in returns during January can be attributed to various factors, with the aftermath of the holiday peak being a predominant influence. The surge is particularly fueled by the influx of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas purchases. The increased volume of online shopping during the festive season amplifies the likelihood of logistical errors, shipping damages, and discrepancies between product expectations and reality. 

The Impact on Inventory and Finances:  

Handling e-commerce returns involves costs such as transportation fees, staff time, and warehousing expenses for sorting items. Additionally, when a refund is requested, the original sale value is lost, negatively impacting overall revenue. To mitigate the financial impact, effective management of both stock and returns becomes imperative. 

Efficient Handling of Returns: 

Warehouses can streamline the returns process by adopting best practices that ensure both speed and accuracy. Integrating technology, particularly Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), is a key strategy to achieve efficiency in managing returns. 

Role of Enterprise Connect in Return Management: 

Enter Fusefabric's Enterprise Connect suite, comprising WMS Connect, Stock Connect, Bundle Connect, ERP Connect, and Finance Connect - all designed to simplify and enhance enterprise operations. 

What is Enterprise Connect? 

  • WMS Connect: Seamlessly integrate WMS/3PLs with your Shopify store for real-time order syncing, inventory updates, and seamless returns. 
  • Stock Connect: Avoid overselling with real-time inventory level syncing across all store locations. 
  • Bundle Connect: Simplify product bundle creation, boosting sales with real-time stock calculation and automatic updates based on availability. 
  • ERP Connect: Automate the warehouse receiving process by integrating ERP and WMS for real-time inventory tracking. 
  • Finance Connect: Simplify financial reconciliation with easy-to-consume transaction data for reporting and reconciliation. 
  • Real-time Visibility: Real-time visibility into inventory levels is vital for better managing returns. WMS Connect provides businesses with accurate and up-to-date information on returned items, enabling quicker stock replenishment, faster stock availability and increasing sales opportunities. 


Returns Analytics: 

Integrated analytics tools empower businesses to analyse patterns and trends in returned items, using insights to improve product quality and enhance customer satisfaction. 

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, adopting Fusefabric's Enterprise Connect proves invaluable in navigating the challenges posed by January returns. The wide variety features of Enterprise Connect, such as integrated returns triggering refunds and communications, and real-time inventory updates, address the discussed challenges. Contact us to find out more about Enterprise Connect: https://fusefabric.com/contact/ 

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