Dropit, a retail technology company that layers AI into existing fulfillment systems for a smarter retail ecosystem, today introduced Smart Returns, an AI-powered solution to simplify returns management. Smart Returns seamlessly integrates with retailers’ existing systems and uses real-time data to determine the most efficient return location for each item, enabling retailers to maximize the value of every return.
Returns have long been a costly, resource-intensive and wasteful aspect of the retail industry. Short seasons, extended return windows and a one-size-fits-all return path often result in missed sales opportunities. For every billion dollars of sales, returns cost retailers a staggering 165 million dollars, with yearly returns totals having increased by more than 500 billion dollars between 2019 and 2022.1 For retailers, this translates to significant profitability concerns, with suboptimal returns processes leading to inventory imbalances, costly logistic expenses, unnecessary markdowns and environmental waste.
With Dropit’s Smart Returns, retailers can harness AI-powered technology to simplify and optimize return management. Unlike traditional approaches, Smart Returns combines advanced rules-based decision making with machine learning, enabling the system to leverage historical and real-time data to power intelligent, dynamic returns decisions. Smart Returns seamlessly integrates with existing inventory, warehouse and order management systems to consolidate information and make smarter decisions. It uses diverse first and third-party data to determine the best location for every return—saving retailers time and money.
Smart Returns capabilities and benefits
Smart Returns offers retailers enhanced visibility and control over their returns management process, delivering valuable efficiencies without the need for additional departments, staff or third-party vendors. In fact, Smart Returns offers retailers superior flexibility, allowing them to include data from any source to tailor rule sets that meet their strategic needs. What’s more, Smart Returns’ seamless integration is 2-6x faster than typical retail technology systems, empowering faster operational improvements and overall returns efficiencies. With Smart Returns retailers can:
- Balance inventory: Smart Returns factors in live inventory counts and routes returns to locations where they are most likely to sell, helping retailers avoid stockouts and overstock, optimizing inventory allocation.
- Avoid unnecessary markdowns: Smart Returns minimizes product time off the shelf by routing returns based on demand, preventing overstock, resulting in fewer markdowns and waste.
- Reduce logistics expenses: With Smart Returns, retailers can discover cost-efficient return routes and implement returnless returns, enabling them to lower transit costs and effectively divert dead stock from the supply chain, reducing logistic expenses.
- Minimize waste: Smart Returns reduces transportation costs, processing time, lost sales, and inventory waste. It also considers proximity and shipping times for eco-friendly return routes, minimizing environmental impact.
- Increase customer satisfaction: With automated real-time decisioning, Smart Returns helps retailers maintain cost-efficiency while enabling greater returns options for customers, enhancing customer satisfaction and building loyalty through smooth return experiences.
“At Dropit, we believe in revolutionizing the retail industry by bridging the gap between online and offline channels,” said Karin Cabili, Dropit Founder and CEO. “With Smart Returns, we’re taking a step further towards unifying inventories and optimizing operations. By using AI to intelligently route returns based on real-time data, retailers can achieve better inventory balance, reduce unnecessary markdowns, and enhance their overall profitability.”