IBM Sterling Ideas

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Provide for quota-free import of in-store transactions ("take sale" / "cash and carry") for use in association with blind returns / refunds

Today, we may receive the return of an unit/sku which was purchased in-store (cash-and-carry, take sale. NOT an order...) to our distribution center, within a valid return window, with a request for a full refund to the original form of payment.


Because we cannot automatically link the inbound shipment to a valid in-store transaction (they are not present in OMS), this becomes a highly-manual process, to source the original in-store transaction from a separate, unconnected data store, and to manually adjust the refund amount from the "blind returns" pricebook (lowest price last x days) to the *validated* amount from the original in-store take-sale (NOT order.)


Additionally, because we do not have a record of the original payment authorization, even if the store is using the same payment gateway, we cannot refund with reference to the original authorization code, resulting in potential violations from the payment gateway for "unreferenced" refunds (ie. money laundering concerns.)


We cannot simply import all take sales as orders into OMS, given the very high transaction volume, consequent impact on quotas, and the fact that OMS played no role in a POS take-sale cash and carry transaction. They are however crucial as reference data to facilitate the refund of the same, as a harmonized OMS-based refund process, when store-purchased units are shipped back to DC by the customer.


Again, in-store ordering is not an issue here, only in-store take sales, for which OMS organically has no record.

  • Guest
  • Jun 9 2021
  • Future consideration
What is your industry? Retail
How will this idea be used?

Today, we may receive the return of an unit/sku which was purchased in-store (cash-and-carry, take sale. NOT an order...) to our distribution center, within a valid return window, with a request for a full refund to the original form of payment.


Because we cannot automatically link the inbound shipment to a valid in-store transaction (they are not present in OMS), this becomes a highly-manual process, to source the original in-store transaction from a separate, unconnected data store, and to manually adjust the refund amount from the "blind returns" pricebook (lowest price last x days) to the *validated* amount from the original in-store take-sale (NOT order.)


Additionally, because we do not have a record of the original payment authorization, even if the store is using the same payment gateway, we cannot refund with reference to the original authorization code, resulting in potential violations from the payment gateway for "unreferenced" refunds (ie. money laundering concerns.)


We cannot simply import all take sales as orders into OMS, given the very high transaction volume, consequent impact on quotas, and the fact that OMS played no role in a POS take-sale cash and carry transaction. They are however crucial as reference data to facilitate the refund of the same, as a harmonized OMS-based refund process, when store-purchased units are shipped back to DC by the customer.


Again, in-store ordering is not an issue here, only in-store take sales, for which OMS organically has no record.

Presumably this referential data store should be kept isolated from the order-based data store, given OMS will have no role in processing these transactions, but rather only requires the data for search and reference. A big-data type data store optimized for search and retrieval would likely be a good fit.

  • Admin
    Aaron Cutter commented
    22 Nov, 2021 02:42pm

    Hi Paul, thank you for the follow up. We do understand the use case, but have not seen this scenario as a requirement for many customers. If it has come up, one or more of the options suggested above were sufficient to meet the customers' needs. To support your main use case of blind returns at a DC, please consider one of the suggested options as a way to enable processing of the return in OMS.

  • Guest commented
    18 Nov, 2021 08:02pm

    The presence of the take sale data also assists with Order history / Order Details, and to facilitate the "un-blinding" process directly in Sterling, where transactions are searchable by known customer contact points, transaction timestamps, etc, in one harmonized interface.


    As a cloud IBM customer, we prefer to stand up custom tables only as a last resort. We prefer the functions exist as first-class, recognized Sterling features.

  • Admin
    Aaron Cutter commented
    22 Sep, 2021 05:39pm

    Hi Paul, thank you for submitting your idea. This use case does come up for customers, and has been handled in multiple ways. In many cases, cross-channel customer purchase history (in store take-sales as well as online orders) is an important aspect of providing a robust customer experience, and retailers do load store purchases as orders in OMS. In order to mitigate quota impact, some customers choose to do this on demand by integrating with the store system to load the necessary data into OMS upon processing a return for a store purchase. A third option would be to store key take-sale data in a custom table in OMS to avoid quota impact and on-demand integration.

    We will leave this idea for future consideration and see if additional interest is registered in the form of votes. Please consider some of the options mentioned above to see if they would work for your needs.

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