PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

ParcelLab Launches AI-Powered Tool for Forecasting, Analyzing Returns

retail return online

ParcelLab has launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tool that helps retailers anticipate and mitigate the financial impact of returns.

By estimating inbound parcels for retailer warehouses, the new parcelLab Returns Forecast AI helps retailers better plan warehouse resources, reduce processing times and lower operational costs, the provider of post-purchase experience software said in a Tuesday (June 25) press release.

The introduction of this tool comes at a time when retailers are dealing with an increasing number of returned parcels, Tobias Buxhoidt, founder and CEO of parcelLab, said in the release.

“With parcelLab’s Returns Forecast AI, we’re giving warehouse managers and logistics specialists the power to turn that challenge into a business opportunity with a tool they can self-configure to visualize patterns and measure percentage errors,” Buxhoidt said.

The tool provides data-driven AI insights that eliminate the need for manual inbound forecasting processes commonly used by warehouse managers and logistics specialists, according to the release.

It incorporates peak seasonality and historic data patterns into its forecasts, providing greater visibility into returns, the release said.

Retailers can use its predictive returns analytics report to avoid over- or understaffing, improve revenue forecasting and planning by anticipating return volume, and reduce future returns by understanding reasons for returns, per the release.

Returns Forecast AI is part of parcelLab Retain, parcelLab’s post-purchase platform that allows retailers’ customers to register their returns, generate a label or QR code, track returns online and receive proactive communications, according to the release.

“By optimizing the returns process, retailers can significantly reduce associated costs, enhance profit margins and improve overall financial health,” the company said in the release.

ParcelLab launched Retain in August 2023, saying that the new product was supported by the company’s existing infrastructure and that retailers who adopted the product had seen an increase in customer retention and a reduction in returns.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that 33.4% of U.S. consumers consider online returns to be a very or extremely important shopping feature offered by retailers. In addition, another 1.6% of consumers say it is the most important shopping feature, according to the “2023 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Cybersource collaboration.