A retail service that allows customers to return products purchased online at a physical store location, offering convenience and potentially reducing return processing costs.
What is Buy Online, Return In-Store (BORIS)?
Buy Online, Return In-Store (BORIS) is a service that allows customers to return online purchases at physical store locations. It works by initiating a return request online, bringing the item to the store, and completing the return process with store staff. BORIS offers convenience for customers, immediate refunds or exchanges, and can drive foot traffic to stores. However, it may impact store inventory management and requires alignment between online and in-store return policies.
How BORIS works
- Online Return Request: Customers initiate the return process online through the retailer's website or app. They provide details about the item being returned, reason for return, and any additional information required.
- In-Store Return: Customers bring the item along with the original packaging, receipt, or proof of purchase to a designated return area within the physical store. Store staff verifies the return details and ensures the item is in acceptable condition for return.
- Return Processing: Store staff processes the return by updating the customer's account, issuing a refund, or facilitating an exchange or store credit. The customer may receive an immediate refund or have the amount credited back to their original payment method.
- Key points:
- Convenience: BORIS offers customers the convenience of returning online purchases at a physical store location, eliminating the need for shipping or waiting for return shipping labels. It allows for immediate resolution and faster refunds or exchanges.
- Foot Traffic and Customer Engagement: BORIS can drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, giving retailers an opportunity to engage with customers and potentially upsell or cross-sell additional products. It enhances the in-store shopping experience and may lead to increased customer loyalty.
- Operational Efficiencies: BORIS can help streamline the return process by consolidating returns at physical stores. It reduces the volume of return shipments and associated costs for the retailer. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to assess returned items in-person and make decisions regarding restocking, refurbishing, or liquidation.
Overall, BORIS provides a convenient option for customers to return online purchases at physical stores, benefiting both the customers and the retailers. However, proper implementation and management are essential to maximise its benefits and mitigate potential challenges.
Pros of BORIS
- Convenience: BORIS offers customers the convenience of returning online purchases at a physical store location. It eliminates the need for shipping and allows for immediate resolution, faster refunds, exchanges, or store credits. Customers can save time and effort by returning items in person rather than dealing with return shipments.
- Foot Traffic and Customer Engagement: BORIS can drive foot traffic to physical stores, presenting an opportunity for retailers to engage with customers and potentially increase sales. By visiting the store for a return, customers may be exposed to additional products, leading to cross-selling or upselling opportunities. It enhances the in-store shopping experience and builds customer loyalty.
- Operational Efficiency: BORIS helps streamline the return process by consolidating returns at physical store locations. This reduces the volume of return shipments, associated costs, and potential damages during transit. It also allows retailers to assess returned items in-person, make decisions regarding restocking or liquidation, and potentially minimise inventory loss.
Cons of BORIS
- Increased In-Store Workload: BORIS can place additional strain on store staff and operations. Handling returns in-store requires dedicated resources and personnel to process returns, inspect items, update inventory, and handle customer inquiries. The increased workload may lead to longer wait times and potentially impact the overall customer experience.
- Potential Inventory Challenges: BORIS introduces the possibility of inventory challenges for retailers. In-store returns need to be carefully managed to ensure accurate tracking and inventory reconciliation. If return volumes are high or the return process is not efficiently managed, it can result in discrepancies between physical inventory and system records, potentially leading to inventory inaccuracies and stockouts.
- Increased Fraud Risk: BORIS presents an increased risk of fraudulent returns. Without proper controls and verification measures in place, customers may attempt to return items that were not originally purchased or are no longer in saleable condition. Retailers need to implement robust return policies, verification procedures, and monitoring systems to mitigate the risk of fraudulent returns.
Below you will find answers to common questions
How can we effectively manage the influx of returns from BORIS while maintaining smooth in-store operations?
To manage returns effectively, it is crucial to allocate dedicated staff and resources specifically for return processing. Establish a designated area within the store for returns, equip it with necessary tools and equipment, and provide clear guidelines to employees on handling returns. Implement streamlined return processes, including barcode scanning or receipt verification, to ensure accurate tracking and faster processing. Regularly train and educate store staff on return policies and procedures to minimise errors and maximise efficiency.
How can we prevent fraudulent returns through the BORIS channel?
Preventing fraudulent returns requires implementing robust return policies and verification procedures. Establish clear guidelines on acceptable return conditions, time limits, and required documentation such as original receipts or order confirmations. Implement a system to validate returned items, such as checking for serial numbers, security tags, or conducting visual inspections. Consider implementing a customer database or loyalty program to track customer purchase history and flag suspicious return patterns. Regularly monitor and analyse return data to identify any anomalies or potential fraud cases and take appropriate action.