Returns Management Practices in Swiss Online Apparel Retailing: A Multiple Case Study Approach
Product returns are a critical, costly task for online retailers; yet the process of managing and avoiding returns is neither actively coordinated nor investigated. Based on a multiple case study approach, six in-depth interviews with top- and middle-level apparel industry managers were conducted to explore and describe practices of managing product returns in online apparel retailing. Our findings revealed returns management practices implemented in online apparel retailing and identified several applications to reduce the environmental footprint of product returns and improving the company’s performance, based on five facets of returns management: (1) the interplay of return policy, product category, and preventive actions; (2) the application of avoidance practices; (3) the management of returns in omnichannel retail; (4) the potential of artificial intelligence to reduce return rates; and (5) the role of sustainability in consumer behaviour. To reduce product returns and enhance a company’s performance, we propose to map the practices against different phases of the return journey.
Gaidarzhy, Karina; Wozniak, Thomas; and Schu, Matthias, "Returns Management Practices in Swiss Online Apparel Retailing: A Multiple Case Study Approach" (2022). Bled 2022 Proceedings. 15.