In the last year, the retail industry has seen accelerated growth and investment in online marketplaces to cater to evolving purchasing preferences and to offer customers greater selection without the need for huge investments in inventory. While this is a positive trend and revenue driver, building online marketplaces can pose an emerging compliance risk for retailers. Here, effective planning can mitigate potential challenges and save back-of-store teams a lot of headaches. 

The recent proliferation of eCommerce marketplaces for major retailers resulted in many more SKU’s – a large portion of which are online-only. These SKU’s are often shipped directly from the supplier to the customer without directly entering a retailer’s distribution centers or stores. As such, retailers may not have gathered necessary compliance information for the products as they would for their in-store inventory in a program like WERCSmart. 

This can create potential compliance risk when these online-only products are then returned to a brick-and-mortar location store, and the back-of-store staff lack the proper information for storage and waste classification. Given the rising return rates and shopper preferences for convenient in-store returns, this is a growing compliance risk for retailers – and one that could pose a heavy burden to back-of-store employees.  

Introducing WERCSmart for Item Fulfilment Services

In order to collect and manage compliance information for marketplace-only SKU’s, UL launched WERCSmart for Item Fulfilment Services. This program uses only a few data points fed into an AI engine based on 10+ years of WERCSmart data, to generate a generic waste classification and SDS for a given UPC. That way you can quickly determine a product’s storage and transportation requirements with minimal cost or burden to your suppliers. 

If you would like to learn more about WERCSmart for Item Fulfilment Services, please contact your account manager today.