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Kiosks aim to help solve the returns issue for omni-channel retailers

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Returns are one of the biggest issues for e and mcommerce, but they could also hold the key to helping keep stores relevant, if technology can be used to make returns work more effectively.

And that is exactly what Happy Returns in the US is looking to achieve by leveraging its online return software and logistics to create a new self-service return kiosk for omni-channel retailers.

Kiosks in-store have failed to really take off, despite their promise to bring the ‘online’ into the in-store. However, th self-service return kiosks enable customers who wish to return online purchases in-store to skip the lines and complete their returns quickly and easily on their own. The result is a better experience both for customers doing returns as well as those checking out, who no longer need to wait in lines behind someone processing returns at the cash wrap.

The self-service return kiosks offers retailers the ability to minimise the time, cost and distraction required to process online returns in-store. Happy Returns reverse logistics services available to pick up, disposition and route online returns efficiently.

The sleek, fully-brandable kiosks are free-standing with an attached tablet interface for customers to securely look up their orders and submit returns.

Once a return has been submitted, the customer simply deposits their items inside the tamper-proof door, and they’re done. Refunds are initiated immediately to original purchase method or store credit and the customer receives an email receipt of the transaction.

Benefits for retailers, says Happy Returns, include reduced labour costs, a faster and easier return experience for their customers and optional reverse logistics if retailers do not want to keep online returns in their store.

The company is hoping to build on in-store work it has done in the US for the likes of Nordstrom Rack, Rothy’s, Eloquii, and other retailers where it hopes to start trialling these return kiosks imminently.

“Our experience working at HauteLook/Nordstrom Rack and working with dozens of other retailers at Happy Returns informed our approach to managing the growing volume of online returns in physical stores,” says Happy Return co-founder and CEO, David Sobie. “The new self-service return kiosk incorporates all we have learned about delivering a return experience that’s delightful for customers and more efficient and cost-effective for retailers.” 

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