8 Ways To Improve Retail Product Returns And Security With Inventory Control

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67% of warehouses in a recent survey said they’re considering adopting new technologies to speed up inventory management processes. Is your retail store implementing agile and reliable inventory control?

Inventory control isn’t just for operational efficiency – it benefits your product returns and security processes.

Keep reading as we discuss what inventory management software is and how automating inventory management processes leads to improved retail product returns and security – making returns easier for your customers.

What Is Inventory Management Software?

Many retail stores and eCommerce businesses implement inventory management software to calculate all inventory accurately, reducing the potential for human error.

In a traditional inventory management system, the business must perform regular inventory counts to ensure enough inventory to meet current and forecasted customer demand. However, performing inventory counts presents some issues for your business:

  • Human error – there is no guarantee that your employees will not make a mistake when counting your inventory, which means that there is no guarantee that your inventory counts provide an accurate figure for your inventory levels.
  • Time-consuming manual processes – inventory counts can be time-consuming and must be performed regularly. Your business may not be achieving optimal ROI on staffing investments.
  • For the above reasons, many businesses are turning to inventory management software to maintain inventory levels and meet customer demand. Inventory management software uses RFID barcode tracking systems to automate inventory management. When your employees place items into your inventory storage, they scan the RFID tracking code to log the inventory with your management system. Automating this process provides more accurate and reliable inventory information while reducing the manual effort required.

    How Inventory Management Improves Retail Product Returns And Security

    Below are some benefits you can gain for your security strategy and product returns when implementing inventory management software.

  • Inventory Shrinkage
  • Implementing inventory management software allows you to spot inventory shrinkage more easily. When manual inventory counts are performed, the data is less reliable, making inventory shrinkage more challenging to spot.

    You can accurately understand your inventory levels by automating the inventory management process. When an inventory count is performed and does not reflect the figures in your inventory management system, you can be assured that this is due to employee theft or external theft.

    You can then use your analog or IP security camera systems to investigate the inventory issue and identify the perpetrator. Since retail shrinkage causes such significant losses for retail stores, this technology is invaluable – highlighting the need to invest in more proactive retail security solutions.

  • Logging Returned Items
  • If your business operates at a large scale and receives a high quantity of returns, this presents the risk of overstocking. Overstocking can lead to you running out of room in your retail stores, and it can cause additional charges from your logistics and fulfillment centers.

    To ensure your inventory orders are aligned with the number of returns you receive, you can use inventory management software to log your returns. This will update your inventory levels, ensuring you do not unnecessarily reorder inventory.

    You can automate this process by logging returns when a customer prints a return label from your website or logs the item as returned.

  • Tracking Item Return Rates
  • Automating tracking for inventory returns using your inventory management software will allow you to track return rates for each item on offer in your retail store. By gaining more insight into inventory returns, you can evaluate which stock items must meet customer expectations. By identifying these items, you can re-evaluate your stock offering to provide your customers with more relevant or high-quality products.

  • Scalability
  • With increased business growth, continuing to manage your inventory manually will present a security risk. If you do not have an efficient inventory management system, you will have no insight into your inventory levels or shrinkage rates, which may indicate the need for more security. By opting for an inventory management tool, you can ensure that your security is working effectively and that your inventory management needs are manageable and manageable.

  • Customer Retention
  • Keeping an eye on returns and the reasons for returns is a critical element of your customer retention strategies. If your customer returns an item due to sizing issues, they may wish to reorder it in a different size.

    However, if the return was due to poor quality, they may never shop with you again. Keeping accurate logs of your returns alongside return reasons will allow you to improve your returns engagement and policies.

    Each return is different and should be treated differently to improve customer relationships. With inventory management software, you can integrate your sales platforms to ensure all customer returns and reasons are logged in a single place. Keeping track of return reasons will allow you to address any core underlying issues in your business and keep customers happy.

  • Reducing Returns Workload
  • If you can integrate your inventory management solution with your returns platform, this will reduce the workload associated with returns processes. Already, returns take up a lot of time for retail stores. Automating inventory updates based on your returns can streamline the returns process and reduce manual effort.

  • Flexible Returns Policy
  • If you operate in both an eCommerce and brick-and-mortar capacity, you can offer more flexible returns policies with smoother inventory control. You can allow your customers to return the items in-store online. Many customers look at the returns policy before purchasing an item online, and offering more flexible returns is likely to improve sales conversions on your online platforms.

  • Item History
  • Using RFID barcode scanning to track your inventory provides a record of the inventory’s history. If the item has been returned multiple times, this may highlight a need to put the inventory item on sale and avoid future returns. It may also highlight a need to investigate any underlying issues with the product that could have caused the return.

    Summary

    If you want to reduce inventory shrinkage and improve inventory returns for your retail store, consider the benefits of inventory management software. Automating inventory management provides more reliable data for your security and returns processes, ensuring smooth operations and improved insight.

    Vinod Janapala
    Vinod Janapala - Product (SaaS) Marketing & Customer Analytics Lead. Vinod is keen on such topics as Marketing, Customer Experience, SaaS Challenges, and Personal Growth.

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