Manhattan Associates has launched a new late-stage cancellation service that means orders can be cancelled up to the point of manifested/loaded status, preventing unwanted shipments and costly returns, not just financially but environmentally too.
The company says online shopping returns are a growing challenge for retailers globally, accounting for over $400 billion of lost sales for US retailers in 2020 alone, according to the National Retail Federation.
Manhattan Associates managing director for ANZ Raghav Sibal says customers often change their minds, it's just a part of doing business.
“How a company wishes to react, however, should be a business decision, not simply constrained by a retailer's system capabilities,” he says.
“Previously, when customers decided they wanted to cancel an order, they might not be able to depending on how quickly the order was dropped to the warehouse. In most cases, the order could not be cancelled once it was allocated, limiting the timeframe customers could change their mind prior to an unwanted shipment going on its way.
Manhattan Associates says its new late-stage order cancellation capability allows retailers to amend and cancel orders right up to the moment the truck leaves. This provides retailers with more flexibility in handling late-stage cancellations.
“Retail systems should not restrict consumer behaviour, so we've introduced the ability to cancel orders in our Warehouse Management System (WMS) much later in the fulfilment lifecycle,” says Sibal.
“Not only does that improve customer satisfaction, it reduces shipping waste and the unwanted carbon footprint associated returns.
Manhattan Associates says its new service builds on the company's existing digital self-service capabilities, which also allows customers to cancel items being shipped to their address from a distribution centre (D.C.) or a store without reaching out to a contact centre.
“We've all been in a position where we'd like to be able to amend or cancel an online order but the ‘point of no return' or ‘remorse period' has been reached,” says Sibal.
“When these situations occur, it causes friction and frustration for the customer who has to return the item, not to mention the time and cost for the retailer who will often have to absorb the shipping, handling and environmental costs of the return.
“With Manhattan's latest order cancellation capabilities all these issues can be resolved at the source, making for happier customers, better margins for the retailer, and a lesser impact on the environment – a triple threat of benefits that everyone can get behind.
Manhattan Associates is a supply chain and omnichannel commerce company. It unites information across the enterprise, converging front-end sales with back-end supply chain execution.
The company says it designs, builds and delivers leading-edge cloud and on-premises solutions.