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Intelligent sourcing with store stock avoidance leveraging pending return queue Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244709D
Publication Date: 2016-Jan-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 54K

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The Prior Art Database


Today when shopper returns a product, the shopper needs to ship the product to the physical store or warehouse. It's expensive process for retailers to process the returned products. Meanwhile, some other shopper may want to buy the same product, who may live nearby the shopper who want to return the product. This is to provide a way to enable the second shopper to select pick up the return product in the first shopper, possibly with lower price. Basically, the pending return product will be considered as available inventory in ATP process, together with location information of 2 shoppers. Meanwhile, one possible way to leverage QR code to faciliate the process. Finally, the system will handle the payment reconcile, product ownership and etc. The new method will significantly reduce the cost of return processing for retailr, and offers better customer experience for return and order.

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Intelligent sourcing with store stock avoidance leveraging pending return queue

It's common these days retailers offer buy online return in physical store for multi-channel (cross channel, or omni-channel) commerce, as a differentiator to pure online retailers like Amazon. It's good user experience that shopper can return the goods directly to a nearly physical stores.

However, the return processing is not an easy task for retailer. The physical store staff (or separate group of people) need to handle customer services, check the condition of the goods, move the items and etc, which is a big effort. For the items received from the physical stores, if the good is re-sellable, there's process of purchase order or inventory transfer happens.

It's common that the store does not sell the returned good which was bought online. For this case, there's more cost to keep and sell the goods. It has been common that in some physical store of a retailers like Target, there are some items on clearance with very low price, which actually is returned item from store. The good experience to shoppers lead to some big extra cost.


1. Retailer save on Return logistics and cost of storing the returned merchandise at the store.

2. Retailer ensures customer satisfaction in spite of inventory non-availability by leveraging the possible returns that are flowing into the store.

3. Shopper returning the item will save on return logistics and gain reward for facilitating the transaction to a new buyer.

4. Shopper looking to buy a new item get the item in spite of item being out of stock and that too with a motivating discount.

1. Shopper-1 initiate the return and selects an option that he is interested in making this inventory visible for any new prospective buyers. Shopper may also select a date up to which he will wish to have this option activated. Retailer may choose to reward the shopper-1 for selecting this option.

2. System asks the Shopper to categorize the return into one of the preset category and also to provide information to indicate the current status of the item and ask the Shopper-1 to pro...