5 Ways to Reduce Product Returns

Facilitating order payment may be one of the happiest things for e-commerce sellers, but there is a worrying hidden danger: product returns.

In this era of fast and free shipping and returns, no matter whether the products can meet customer expectations, they will face the risk of being returned. In this article, we will provide you with five ways to reduce product returns.

Why reduce product returns? In short, it increased the company’s operating costs and caused financial pressure. Product returns will cause the following risks to the cost of e-commerce:

  • Refund cost: The company loses profit opportunities and may lose customers.
  • Transportation costs: Companies that provide free transportation and return goods to take care of transportation costs to invest in their customers.
  • Product disposal costs: returned products must be inspected and then resold, liquidated, or discarded. If the products are liquidated, the company will lose money because these products must be sold at a price lower than the original value. In the worst case, the project will be discarded and no cost can be recovered.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce product returns.

Reduce-Product-Returns-RepricerExpress-ChinaDivision
Reduce-Product-Returns-RepricerExpress-ChinaDivision

An Important Way to Reduce Product Returns

Accurate and clear product pictures

Display the appearance of the product with maximum clarity and accuracy. A 360-degree product is an ideal way to provide your customers with a view from all angles, especially to showcase furniture or technical products.

But if you cannot provide this type of image, try to provide an image that can zoom in to see close-up details. Make sure that the image you provide can be displayed clearly on the mobile device because the mobile terminal often has more order opportunities than the desktop computer.

Use video to showcase products

Although pictures are useful, videos can make your product display more clearly, especially for product categories with a high customer return rate, such as electronics, clothing, etc. Clothing videos show the upper body effects of models; household appliances or electronic products show how the products are used.

Value customer feedback

Customer reviews or feedback on the product is the best way to better understand your product and how to improve it. Comments can provide you with ideas to better describe the product or discover product problems. You should not avoid this but encourage customer feedback. Your return and exchange form should provide the customer’s description of the problem, such as the product size is different from expected or not as shown in the advertisement, etc. Secondly, you can also encourage customers to leave comments by using discount coupons or free gifts.

Correct packaging

The correct packaging method is a key factor in avoiding returns, as they help prevent items from being damaged or broken. Please make sure that the packaging materials you use can protect the product from external shocks. In addition, please ensure that the product information on the package is consistent with the packaged product.

Clear delivery time limit

When customers browse the product page, please indicate the approximate delivery time of the order. This detail should be paid more attention to products that need to be customized. Please also pay attention to the logistics on weekends and holidays. Provide customers with the ability to select a specific delivery date, even if customers need to pay additional shipping costs can also improve customer experience.

Although offering free returns can help improve the customer experience, if you find that the number of returns is unacceptable, try using the methods described above to reduce returns.

Five Tips for Optimizing Warehouse Operation

Warehouse operations occupy an important position in e-commerce logistics, but if there is an error in the processing of inventory data or there is a problem with the back-end warehouse logistics, the warehouse operation may quickly collapse.

Moving the product from the warehouse to the door of the customer has almost no room for error, which affects your company’s reputation and revenue. Warehouse operation optimization plans can improve efficiency, space, and resource utilization through automation and careful planning, and deliver them to customers accurately, thereby improving customer satisfaction and experience.

Understand product movement speed

Product movement speed refers to the speed of merchandise sales. Certain products in each warehouse will move faster during special seasons or during major promotions.

At this time, the layout of the warehouse should allow these products to move faster and more conveniently. Placing them in an easy-to-extract position can speed up the warehouse operation. One solution is to place them as close as possible to the packaging area.

Warehouse-Operation丨ChinaDivision
Warehouse-Operation丨ChinaDivision

Minimize human error

The lower the degree of human error, the higher the efficiency of the warehouse operation. Repeated automated marking of all products in inventory is very important. If this process is a human operation, errors will occur no matter how many trainings employees receive.

Robot technology

The warehouse that invests in robotics has obvious benefits in reducing expenses and increasing efficiency.

Decades ago, the scope of technology in warehouse operations was limited to robotic arms that could move or lift heavy objects in accordance with human instructions. Today, technology can take on more tasks.

The following are some of the machines commonly found in warehouses today:

  • Automatic guided vehicle
  • Autonomous robot
  • pilot-less airplane
  • Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS)

The use of these innovative tools has some positive effects including higher customer satisfaction, fewer delivery process errors, and becoming a means of attracting customers.

How to Reduce Supply Chain Costs?

One of the best ways to reasonably control company expenditures is to reduce supply chain costs. Fortunately, this goal can be achieved in some simple ways.

However, what you need to understand when you start with this part is where the key points are because the correct reduction with a clear understanding will bring the greatest return in the future.

Next, this article will make some suggestions for reducing supply chain costs and increasing profits.

Reduce-Supply-Chain-Costs丨TASK丨ChinaDivision
Reduce-Supply-Chain-Costs丨TASK丨ChinaDivision

1. Cut unnecessary space costs

Making full use of the space you have will save you money every day. As we all know, renting a warehouse to store materials requires daily rent, which will be a lot of money for a long time. Evaluate the utilization rate of your current warehouse space and find a warehouse that is more in line with actual needs that can save some money.

2. Process automation

Warehouse automation is not only a fashion trend, but it can also help you achieve the purpose of reducing supply chain costs. Ask professionals to provide assessment and advice on how to implement automation.

3. Make timely adjustments to customer needs

One of the ways to reduce supply chain costs is to make timely adjustments to customer needs. As the season changes, you will find that customer needs are constantly changing. You can follow these changes to make more accurate sales policies.

4. Minimize product damage rate

The improvement of the product packaging level will help reduce the probability of damage to the product during transportation. Make sure that the staff responsible for this area pack your products correctly to minimize breakage rates.

Warehouse Management System(WMS): How to Choose the Right one?

How to choose the right warehouse management system(WMS)? The right solution can help your company achieve improved order fulfilment, increased inventory visibility, automated data collection, and more.

The warehouse management system(WMS) can quickly process data and assist in the movement of goods in the warehouse. This article will give you some suggestions for optimizing warehouse operations.

Warehouse-Management-System(WMS)-ChinaDivision
Warehouse-Management-System(WMS)-ChinaDivision

The benefits of deploying a warehouse management system (WMS) are as follows:

  • Efficient and effective labor management
  • Inventory visibility and traceability
  • Accurate inventory counting
  • Fewer picking errors
  • Fewer returns
  • Accurate reports
  • Improve response speed
  • Remote data visibility
  • Automatic replenishment
  • Improved customer service
  • Minimize paperwork

Before implementing WMS, you need to make sure that your company’s future business benefits are objective. This system requires capital injection and involves operating costs. The main cost is to support the entire warehouse team and senior management to use their expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment to ensure the normal and correct use of the warehouse system and regular optimization.

WMS can help you maximize the realization of automated warehouse operations. It is not just a warehouse control system and a data collection tool. When you decide to incorporate WMS, the following seven suggestions can help you choose the best solution for warehouse operations.

WMS-ChinaDivision
WMS-ChinaDivision

1. Calculate the return on investment (ROI)

The process of continuous verification is very important because it can help you set a reasonable budget for the project and focus your energy on key parts.

2. Decision procedure

Modern WMS is highly configurable (usually configured by the end-user) and can adapt to any type of warehouse environment.

3. Do due diligence on your existing system

Regardless of whether your company’s current enterprise resource plan or business system already has WMS, you need to make a full investigation of the existing system.

4. Evaluate the internal development capabilities of each supplier

Due to the advertising and marketing nature of the WMS market, few vendors’ internal developments are feasible. A typical WMS supplier may amortize the ongoing development costs of more than 100 customers. If the overall requirement is particularly strong, or the need to integrate existing internal systems, in-house development is sometimes feasible.

5. Request information

First, prepare a short request for information (RFI) document, which describes your business, future business direction, warehouse, and warehouse plan, and outlines the goals achieved by WMS. If necessary, you can use the services of a consultant to help you.

In RFI, ask the supplier about the budgeted cost and implementation time frame. Ask for supplier information, including:

  • Company History
  • Financial history and status
  • Number of sites using their current WMS products
  • Owner of the intellectual property and source code of WMS
  • Customer list
  • Daily rates and support fees
  • Scope of support
  • Development plan
  • Track record

Then send this RFI to 6 to 10 subjects. Focus on suppliers with experience in your market. A WMS provider who has no experience in this field is unlikely to have the features and expertise to help you. Focus on vendors that have track records linked to any business or ERP system you are running.

6. Assess suppliers

Select three to five WMS vendors. Price is not the main evaluation criterion at this stage, but it can be used to exclude suppliers who will exceed your budget. Meeting with suppliers will help you understand their professionalism, their ability to face your needs, and their ability to answer your questions.

7. Make a decision

Choose the best WMS supplier for your warehouse.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Supply Chain and Logistics

The increase in data accuracy makes artificial intelligence more and more widely used in logistics and supply chains.

With the increasing complexity of the supply chain, the room for data errors is rapidly decreasing. The fierce competition in the industry has caused more and more supply chain and logistics companies to choose to use artificial intelligence in their logistics systems. According to Gartner, supply chain organizations expect that the level of machine automation in their supply chain processes will reach 200% in the next five years. At the same time, a recent study shows that by 2020, the annual industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) expenditures of developing companies are estimated to reach $500 billion.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Supply Chain and Logistics丨ChinaDivision

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Supply Chain and Logistics

With the increasing application of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it will change the face of the industry to a deeper degree, and will further aggravate the gap between large and small enterprises in the industry.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning eliminate the problems of inefficiency and inaccurate data to a greater extent and provide more possibilities for companies to deal with supply chain problems. The application of AI in the supply chain has improved production efficiency and product quality, reduced costs, and created safer working conditions.

In the face of a pandemic like this year’s COVID-19, AI helps companies understand what changes and plans should be made to the original plan of the supply chain to better tide over the difficulties.

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the coronavirus may severely threaten the global economy, and multiple industries will face fatal blows. As the spread of the coronavirus has become more widespread, preventive measures (travel restrictions) aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus have resulted in the forced disruption of the global food, retail, and medical supply chains and the freezing of income.

The Advantages of Artificial Intelligence (Ai) in the Supply Chain

1. Improve the accuracy of inventory management

Accurate inventory management can ensure that the correct materials enter and exit the warehouse, and prevent problems such as excessive inventory, insufficient inventory, and unexpected shortages.

2. Improve warehouse efficiency

AI simplifies complex work processes and speeds up work. Artificial intelligence systems can solve multiple warehouse problems faster and more accurately than humans. Besides, in addition to saving valuable time, automated work driven by AI can also greatly reduce the demand and cost of warehouse staff.

3. Improve safety

AI-based automation tools can ensure smarter work plans and effective warehouse management, which can improve the safety of workers and materials.

4. Reduce operating costs

This is the automated intelligent operation of the AI ​​system that can work without errors for a long time, thereby reducing the number of errors and workplace accidents. The higher speed and accuracy of warehouse robots achieve higher productivity.

5. Delivery on time

The artificial intelligence system can automate the system to accelerate the traditional warehouse process, achieve the delivery target with the minimum effort, thereby eliminating the operational bottleneck in the value chain.

How to Judge an Order Fulfillment Company’s Service Efficiency?

Although most e-commerce sellers have chosen order fulfillment companies, most people don’t know how to judge the company’s service efficiency.

Generally speaking, they will pay more attention to cheap prices or equipment with good condition. Today we are going to offer some tips to help you with the efficiency judgement.

  • 1. Observe distribution efficiency. This is a factor that many e-commerce sellers are more concerned about. Warehouses with low delivery efficiency will not be trusted by large companies.
  • 2. Figure out specific storage fees. You need to be wary of some storage companies that may have invisible charges, so your caution is needed about signing a contract for the low quotation.
  • 3. Research whether the equipment and systems equipped in the warehouse are more advanced in the industry.
  • 4. Ask the warehousing company about relevant brand cases for comparative analysis and observe specific data to make more rational judgments.
  • 5. Confirm the total area and the specific layout plan of the warehouse. It does not necessarily mean that the warehouse distribution efficiency of the storage company must be high enough, but the efficiency must not be high for warehouses with warehouse layout problems. So this is also an important aspect that must be conducted on-site investigation. At the same time, you need to pay more attention to whether the traffic conditions around the warehouse are convenient. Good traffic conditions are the guarantee of warehouse distribution efficiency.
  • 6. Check the employee work manual of the warehousing company. In this way, we can see the general operation process of the warehouse, judge whether the warehouse personnel’s operations are sufficiently standardized, and ensure the low error rate.
  • 7. Check whether the warehousing company pays enough attention to the safety of the warehouse. The inventory safety needs to be put first. No one wants all the goods in the warehouse to be stolen or burned.
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Daily warehouse cleaning brings better working environment and fulfillment performance

FBA or Order Fulfillment Company, Which One is Better for the Q4 Holiday Season?

Recently, Amazon has taken many measures for logistics and transportation issues(recruiting more warehouse employees, ordering electric delivery vehicles, and building distribution centers to deal with the upcoming shopping season). It seems that they are trying to get ahead of some of the issues faced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the one hand, supply chains have been greatly impacted, with fulfillment centers prioritizing certain products over others and many overseas inventory orders taking longer than usual to fulfill. On the other hand, consumers are buying online now more than ever.

However, according to data at 8 o’clock on September 21, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States has exceeded 7 million. The continuation of the epidemic and fire has made the logistics and delivery of the United States very unstable.

At present, US imports from China have increased by 89% year-on-year. This is when e-commerce sellers are stocking a lot. Therefore, some warehouses can no longer withstand the pressure, making appointments more difficult, and product information updates are very slow. Therefore, it is necessary to choose an order fulfillment center that processes shipments faster.

FBA2020

According to some feedback, the most serious Amazon warehouses are CLT2, FTW1, AVP1, SMF3, and MEM1 while the more controversial warehouses are ABE8, LAX9, MDW2.

It is worth mentioning that CLT2 is the warehouse with the most serious feedback from Amazon sellers. Some sellers finished the shipment in early July and have not been fully received today.

Amazon customer service also said that there are a lot of backlogs in the warehouse, and there is no way to urge the warehouse to receive the goods on the shelves, because the warehouse receives a large number of shipments every day. If it can be urged, the warehouse’s receiving process will be slower and more complicated. Therefore, the warehouse does not accept any kind of urge, which made so many sellers choose the order fulfillment center.

Since Q4 is already one of busiest sales seasons, the ecommerce giant wants to help protect its business from issues like these. 5 professional and experienced teams have been formed in ChinaDivision for better service in the future.

Contact us and you can benefit more in the e-commerce market!

The Role of Barcode Scanner in Order Fulfillment Warehouses

If you are the owner of an e-commerce warehousing company, what is your plan of inventory management? How do you manage thousands of clothes?

There are many SKU with different colours, sizes and styles, which increases the frequency of sending wrong goods and returning them. So the barcode scanner becomes a necessity in the work of order fulfillment, but how should the warehouse use the barcode scanner to optimize management

1. Inbound

For those e-commerce companies that operate their own warehouses, because they are not equipped with some professional warehousing equipment, the warehousing of clothing is manually checked and accepted. When there are too many goods, they cannot be accurately checked and problems are prone to occur.

The e-commerce warehouse is equipped with a barcode device and an intelligent system. Before the goods are put into the warehouse, the corresponding barcode will be recorded, and the inventory data will be updated in real-time, which greatly improves the accuracy and timeliness.

2. Outbound    

If the workload in the warehouse increases during the promotion period, the e-commerce’s own warehouse may meet unexpected accidents due to insufficient manpower and insufficient specialization.

As a result, store reviews plummeted, and there were a lot of negative reviews. So how does e-commerce warehouse solve this problem? Therefore, the code scanner plays an important role, and the specific products can be quickly matched by scanning to ensure the accuracy of delivery.

3. Inventory Checking

Due to the large variety of products, inventory counting is also a difficulty for e-commerce sellers. For products of various colors, styles, and sizes in the warehouse, manual inspection takes too much time and is very error-prone. The scanner and system equipped in the e-commerce warehouse can perfectly solve this problem.

A product is matched with a barcode, which allows the warehouse staff to scan the barcode only when checking the goods, instead of checking the specific size, color, and style one by one, saving a lot of time.

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How to Ensure the Warehousing Safety While Keeping Order Fulfillment Efficiency ?

The efficiency of e-commerce warehousing operations is a problem that many companies pay attention to, which will directly affect the warehouse capability . So today we will share some safe operation methods for e-commerce warehousing.

  • 1. When someone is carrying inventory, the other employees try to avoid standing on the road.
  • 2. When placing high-height goods, the warehouse staff should pay attention to the stability of the item. They should sort the unstable item out in time.
  • 3. When warehouse employees are climbing the ladder, they need someone to help stabilize the ladder and take protective measures.
  • 4. Use targeted tools and handling requirements for operations according to the features of the goods in the warehouse.
  • 5. The workers are required to concentrate and avoid accidental injuries when using machine.
  • 6. When handling the goods, pay attention to whether the packaging of the goods is broken.
  • 7. When loading the goods, pay attention to placing them in a stable and close fit to ensure that the goods will not be damaged or lost during the subsequent driving process. At the same time, no less than two workers are responsible for loading and unloading.
  • 8. When there are some dangerous goods in the warehouse, employees should be familiar with the characteristics of the goods in advance, how to ensure safety, take necessary protective measures, and standardize safe operation methods.
  • 9. The warehouse needs to be equipped with sufficient fire extinguishing equipment, protective equipment and necessary medical supplies. When problems occur, simple containment can be carried out to ensure sufficient buffer time.

Although the efficiency of e-commerce warehousing operations is important, everything should be people-oriented. From the perspective of human safety, the efficiency of warehousing operations can be improved in a better way, accumulating corporate reputation and bringing more customers and benefits to e-commerce warehousing companies.

Something You Should Know about Eco-friendly Dropshipping

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Let’ s know something about eco-friendly dropshipping and save the earth together!

Improtance of Eco-friendly Dropshipping:

Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population growth and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, consumers have been highly educated about buying items which support the preservation of the planet. Since the 1960s, environmental movements have created more awareness of the multiple environmental problems. There is disagreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity, so protection measures are occasionally debated.

EU citizens benefit from some of the highest environmental standards in the world. The EU and national governments have set clear objectives to guide environment policy until 2050, which means the european e-commerce sellers need to pay more attention to their environmental responsibilities.

Available Eco-friendly Item:

After communicating with our customers insist on environmental protection, ChinaDivision found it is promising to ship the following eco-friendly products.(If you are an Amazon seller or Shopify website owner, it is time to update your inventory, haha.)

Reusable Bag

It is reported that human have produced 18.2 trillion pounds of plastics, but less than 9% of all of the plastic have been recycled. And the average American family use up to 2000 plastic bags per year. Plastic ends up in landfills where it can take hundreds of years to break down. And if the plastic doesn’t end up in a landfill, it could end up in the ocean, where it can cause pollution and marine animal deaths.

Stopping polution is the best solution, more and more people tend to use reusable bag in their daily life.( degradable express bag, silicone snack bag, washable storage bag, reusable mesh bag, etc.) BPA free design makes our reusable bag safer to store food.

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Eco-friendly Plant Bag

Home garden management plays an important role in people’s daily life. More and more families are into growing their own herbs and vegetables. So the eco-friendly plant bags have become the treasures in the e-commerce market. For example, non-woven plant bag is ideal for planting potatoes, carrots, onions, and many other vegetables. One of our customer said the non-woven planting bag had become a hot-seller in his Amazon store.

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Paper/Stainless Steel Straw

Are you still drinking from a plastic straw? It is the suggestion of world health organization that we should use eco-friendly and straw to drink. The straw made of paper and stainless steel will be a good choice for both kids and adults. Compared to plastic straw, the paper and stainless steel straw will be more popluar in the green environmental protection world.

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Dropshipping eco-friendly items is a lot easier than it would have been ten years ago. And a lot of this had to do with the limited product. There just wasn’t much in the way of eco-friendly items for consumers. For a long time, these kinds of products were considered a niche. But eco-friendly products and brands are mainstream in this century. Eco-friendly products are a great niche. But it’s even better if you can combine these products with items that support eco-friendly households. For example, if you’re already selling organic and natural foods on your website, eco-friendly products would fit perfectly with your inventory.