Understanding Sales Tax Conceptualizations in Retailing

Understanding Sales Tax Conceptualizations in Retailing

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Monday, July 08, 2019

Retailing  Shoppers surely enjoy buying and returning products in a hassle-free way and empathizing with retailers' customers can essentially become the key.

FREMONT, CA: The retail business is going through enormous changes in recent years, as the world becomes more and more digital. Merchants have to adapt and learn how to deliver the seamless omnichannel experience that shoppers expect, to survive in the competency landscape and keep up with evolving customer preferences. Customers expect a seamless product return process.  

According to a study, 40 percent of shoppers bought multiple items online in 2017 with the intent to return all but their favorite. Though shoppers might feel that returns are hassle-free and convenient, the process is costly and complicated for retailers. From restocking and labor expenses to the incapability to resell a returned product because it either is no longer in style or went on sale, retailers face a myriad of return challenges that expand beyond a lost sale.

The increment of returns is proportional to the development of online sales, which have experienced a growth rate of almost three terms that of the speed of brick-and-mortar stores. As omnichannel purchasing has become the standard, the complexity of revenues has intensified. According to the National Retail Federation, 38 percent of retailers recognized an improvement in Buy Online Return in Store (BORIS) returns in 2018. Losses like these translate into more high-priced for consumers, as retailers need to reclaim money lost, as well as a decrease in sales tax income for state and local jurisdictions. The quantity of sales tax on a receipt usually is calculated for all items purchased, which retailers need to recalculate when selected products are returned.

Customers' often buy online and return in store, or bring returns to different locations. The rules are inconsistent across state lines, acknowledging the location of the original transaction is crucial to calculating the right amount. Retailers need to rely on wholly automated technology that can streamline operations plus ensure precision. This includes applying the most advanced rates and rules, as well as refund and restocking expenses. Automation can benefit retailers in ways to simplify the tax complexity of commodity returns, which have evolved to be a large and unavoidable part of the retail method.

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