Returns Management

Online retailing is growing inexorably - an increasing number of returns are a necessary evil in this context and so have to be taken into account in companies' business models. A fast, dynamic as well as cost-effective processing of returns contributes directly to the company's success and therefore cannot be disregarded.

Each type of product requires an individual returns process. Quality inspection, minor repair work and repackaging of goods are just some of the tasks to be carried out during processing.

The fact that the returns rate is high, especially in the fashion industry, is no wonder given the fast-paced fashion world and growing online trade. Fast reordering of items is therefore indispensable. This is offset by the manual and personnel-intensive returns processes. The Fraunhofer study on "Returns Management in Fashion Online Retail" provides an up-to-date overview of the status quo in returns processing and shows, among other things, the current state of the art with regard to the degree of automation.

During several returns process recordings in the B2B and B2C area at various logistics service providers with clients in fashiononline trade, the Fraunhofer team was able to gain detailed insights into the handling processes, which also reflected the results of the study.

Based on the study as well as the process recordings, Fraunhofer IML has developed a tool that can be used to analyze improvement potentials and derive target-oriented process optimizations. As a result, processes can be analyzed quickly and areas for action can be identified so that companies can continue to meet the requirements of online retailing in the future.

As a logistics specialist, we know the special requirements of the various industries. In addition, as a research institute, we have the opportunity to redesign the returns processes of tomorrow.

We support you in all phases of your returns transformation. We will be happy to analyze your existing processes in terms of organization, technology and IT and show you the optimization potential of your warehouse. Subsequently, you will receive qualified recommendations for action. If you are just starting out, we will design your processes and show you ways to handle your returns efficiently and effectively. With concepts individually adapted to your needs, we work with you to create stable and dynamic processes.


Isfort L. (2021): Die erste Meile der Retour [Link:] , Vortrag auf der ersten Ausgabe der LAST MILE CITY LOGISTICS im März 2021, Hinte Messe- und Ausstellungs-GmbH Karlsruhe

Isfort L., Beuth J. (2020): Retourenprozesse umkrempeln, Ausgabe 6, S. 52 -53, MM LOGISTIK

Isfort L. (2019): Modisches Hin und Her – Status Quo in der Retourenbearbeitung im Fashion Onlinehandel (B2C), Vortrag auf dem 2. Textillogistik-Forum im Oktober 2019, Center Textillogistik Mönchengladbach

Spee D., Bühner S. (2015): Retourenmanagement – eine logistische Herausforderung. Theorie und Praxis zur Abwicklung von Warenrückgaben, 1. Auflage, HUSS-VERLAG GmbH München

The Center Textile Logistics