Research on Return Modes and Pricing for Omnichannel Retailers
2022, 30 (4):
The pricing of omnichannel retailers in different channels is taken as the background, and how to maximize the retailer’s profit is taken as the goal, and the impact of the loss caused by customer return on retailer’s pricing and profit is analyzed from three different return modes. First, the traditional return mode (that is, when consumers purchase products online, they can only return to the online channel; when consumers purchase products offline, they can only return to the offline channel) is studied. Then all customers return through the online channel (that is, whether consumers from online or offline channels, they can only return to the online channel in the event of return) is analyzed. Furthermore, it is investigated that all customers return goods through offline channels (that is, no matter whether consumers purchase products through online channels or offline channels, they can only return products to offline channels, where offline channels refer to physical stores). It is assumed that when online channel customers purchase products because they can’t touch the goods, they can’t get the full value of the goods just like when they shop in the store, and the consumers will browse the goods in the store when they return the goods, thus generating extra benefits for the retailers. Based on this assumption, the customer utility function is constructed to achieve retailers’ optimal profit and pricing under various return modes. Through the comparison of the optimal profit, it is concluded: under the three return modes, when the sum of the online unit product net return loss of the retailer and the customer is less than the sum of the offline unit product net return loss, if the omnichannel retailer wants to obtain the maximum profit, it should choose the return mode that allows the customer to return all the products to the online channel; When the sum of the net return loss of the online unit product between the retailer and the customer is greater than the sum of the net return loss of the offline unit product, the omnichannel retailer should choose the return mode that allows the customer to return all the products to the offline to obtain the maximum profit; the traditional return mode will not allow the retailer to obtain the maximum profit. Based on the consideration of customer return loss in omnichannel retailing, how to set the most reasonable return mode and the best pricing in different channels are examined.
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