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The Process of E-commerce Returns: A Case Study of the IKEA Customer Distribution Center in Torsvik, Jönköping Sweden
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS).
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: In the recent years, e-commerce has experienced rapid growth and has become an important channel to reach customers. Pressure is put on online retailers to develop reverse logistic (RL) procedures that enable efficient handling of returned products. The reverse logistics procedures differ greatly from the traditional forward flow and are still an overlooked value opportunity for companies. IKEA implemented a new e-commerce return structure in its Swedish market, the new changes will have an effect on all regional stores, which have to implement new practices, and routines for the increased amount and diversity of returns that have to be handled. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the reverse logistics activities in the process of e-commerce returns purchased from IKEA CDC in Torsvik, in order to gain practical insights to which logistical and managerial activities are required for e-commerce returns. Method: This study was conducted with an inductive approach by collecting qualitative data through semi-structured interviews and company documents within the IKEA network in Sweden. Therefore, it is a single embedded case study which applies a cross sectional time horizon. The empirical findings gathered from the interviews were analyzed by using the data display and analysis method. Based on the research questions and interview guide, categories have been created and used for the empirical findings and analysis. Conclusion: The return logistics activities within the investigated IKEA network followed the RL steps, which are gatekeeping, collection, sorting, processing and disposal. Further, four main barriers for efficient RL processes were discovered as a lack of training and education, lack of space, product quality issues and a lack of a supporting information system. It is suggested that each company must address each step and to which extent they are willing to prioritize the reverse flow, as this will also have an influence on the 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 63 p.
Keyword [en]
Reverse logistics, returns, return process steps, e-commerce, reverse supply chain
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30224ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160255OAI: diva2:933191
External cooperation
IKEA Group Sweden
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-03 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved

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