Returns Management

Online trade is growing inexorably – an increasing number of returns are a necessary evil in this context and must therefore be accounted for in the business models of the companies. Return processing that is quick, dynamic, and cost-effective contributes directly to a company´s success and should not be overlooked.

However, each type of product necessitates its own return procedure. Among the tasks to be completed during processing are quality inspection, minor repair work, and repackaging of goods.

With the fast-paced fashion world and growing online trade, it is no wonder the return rate is high, particularly in the fashion industry. As a result, quick recording of items is required. However, this is offset by the time-consuming and labor-intensive returns processes. The Fraunhofer study “Returns Management in Fashion Online Retail“ provides an up-to-date overview of the status quo in returns processing and demonstrates the current state of the art in terms of automation, among other things.

The Fraunhofer team was able to gain detailed insights into the handling processes during several return process recordings in the B2B and B2C areas at various logistics service providers with clients in fashion online retail.

Fraunhofer IML created a tool that can be used to analyze improvement potentials and derive target-oriented process optimizations based on the study and process recordings. In this manner, processes can be quickly analyzed and areas where action is required identified, allowing businesses to continue to meet the requirements of online retailing in the future.

As a logistics specialist, we understand the unique needs of various industries. Furthermore, as a research institute, we have the opportunity to redesign tomorrow´s returns processes.

We assist you at every stage of your return’s transformation. We will gladly analyze your current processes in terms of organization, technology, and IT and show you the potential for warehouse optimization. Following that, you will receive qualified action recommendations. We will design your processes and show you how to handle your returns efficiently and effectively if you are just starting out. We collaborate with you to create stable and dynamic processes using concepts that are individually tailored to your needs. 


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 Fashion Logistics