Small Business Inventory Management Challenges – Returns by Customer

Small Business Inventory Management Challenges – Returns by Customer

The retail is evolving with new technologies and innovative players continuously. The online retailers in the market are requiring superior technologies for their warehouse to gain more productivity. Despite massive marketing investments in websites, mobile apps, and social networking channels; the new generation online retailers use inventory management software within their warehouse to overcome accuracy, productivity and traceability challenges.


One of the major challenges for online retailers is processing the returns by the consumers in the warehouse.

Inbound Receiving

Welcoming the returned products is the first process in the warehouse. The main challenges during the inbound receiving are incorrect product, missing barcode, damaged barcode and order verification. The warehouses which do not have inventory management software faces unproductivity and errors because of paperwork. In order to overcome challenges, an inventory management software provides:

Order Verification

It is possible to verify shipped products, quantities and their images by scanning or entering shipment tracking number, RMA number or order code.

Original Reason

In most cases, customer claims a return reason while returning the products in the system. Assigning an additional return reason in the warehouse may reflect the reality. Which then helps us to categorize our items.

Processing Returned Items

Once the items are received into the warehouse, the next process is determining the putaway status. The returned items may have different paths according to policies. An advanced Inventory Management Software helps you select the right putaway policy. The putaway policy can be selected based on vendor contracts, product types, return reasons and physical condition of the product. Some applicable policies are return to vendor, return to inventory, return to repacking area, return to damaged area etc.

Update channel inventory

The inventory should be uploaded to available sales channels (Amazon, EBay , Shopify, Walmart etc.) immediately after the product is returned to inventory.


Order Fulfillment System - Integrations

Better Analytics

With the help of inventory management system, retailers may analyze their returns from an operational perspective.


Transition from paperwork to digital in processing returns will result in following efficiencies;

  • 30% time saving on returned product verification
  • 50% productivity on putaway of returned items
  • 50% time saving on updating inventory with resalable returned items.

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