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6 Most Common Reasons for Chargebacks In Retail

| February 10, 2021

Common Reasons for Chargebacks In Retail

Discover the six most common chargeback reasons retailers use to deduct payment. It's important to grasp the Vendor chargeback meaning. Vendor chargebacks and deductions in retail occur when brands fail to meet scorecard parameters.

Retail giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target use smart scorecards. They use these scorecards to ensure that suppliers deliver orders on time and in the correct quantities. These scorecards help stores stay competitive, cut inventory costs, and keep shelves stocked. Non-compliant shipments can be expensive, causing stock-outs, losses, and impact the company's bottom line.

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What are Chargebacks in retail?

Chargebacks are deductions that retailers make on invoices to recover lost revenues and time. They are also called distributor chargebacks or retail chargebacks. Retailers may charge their distributors and manufacturers fees for a variety of problems and delays. They issue punitive charges for inconsistent paperwork, like purchase orders and invoices.

Chargebacks in retail can result from packing and freight issues, like late shipments. Depending on the retailer in question, the fine could be a certain sum per box, order, shipment, or even a flat fee. Chargeback fees may reach up to 20% of an invoice. This can potentially result in thousands of dollars in long-term revenue loss.

Common Reasons For Retail Chargebacks

Understanding how chargebacks occur is important in the retail industry. There are many reasons why retailers issue deductions. Here are 6 of the most common reasons for chargebacks in retail you should be aware of.


1. Shortage Claims

This type of claim is one of, if not the, most common deduction type in retail. A shortage claim occurs when a retailer receives fewer items than the supplier claims to have shipped. The issue arises because the retailer orders items individually, with each item counted as one unit. For example, if the customer orders 12 units and receives 10 units, the two units missing is a shortage. 

Concealed shortage claims occur when the shortage is contained in a case of products. It isn’t visibly evident that there’s a shortage until after delivery as the packing is intact. For instance, if a supplier ships 12 units in a case pack, but the retailer receives only 10 units. it results in a concealed shortage.

Retailers can file shortage claims for these missing goods, leading to significant financial losses over time. Failure to address shortage claims promptly can lead to additional chargeback penalties and strained relationships with retailers. Thus, distributors and manufacturers should take proactive measures to prevent chargebacks and avoid chargebacks. 


2. Late or Early Deliveries

In retail, timely delivery is paramount. Efficient supply chain management ensures that products are delivered within the specified delivery window. Big retailers place their orders based on specific sales projections. 

Most of them aim to receive goods just before their shelves are empty, and not a moment before then, to avoid becoming overstocked.

This ‘Just-In-Time’ ordering model helps them to lower their inventory costs and prevent stock-outs. When shipments arrive too early or too late, it disrupts retailers' sales processes. This occurs when they fall outside the Must Arrive by Date (MABD) stipulations.


3. Order Fill Rate Violations

Distributors can face penalties for delivering goods too early or too late. They can also be penalized for delivering too many or too few products, disrupting the just-in-time strategy.

Retail giant Walmart is an excellent example of a retailer that uses this metric to its advantage. The brand’s On Time In Full program issues vendors with grades based on how accurately they deliver the exact number of items ordered.


Check Out Our Blog on Walmart Deduction Codes


4. Failing to Meet Packaging Specifications

Reconfiguring trucks or skids takes up precious resources and time and tends to result in late deliveries. However, if set up with rework amenities, problems with single pallets can be fixed quite efficiently. Packaging problems become more convoluted when equipment instructions are ignored or not followed to the letter. 

As an example, some firms don’t allow pinwheeled pallets that load onto trucks with alternating orientations. If your skids were to arrive pinwheeled, unloading them will take additional hours of work. This interrupts planned schedules and creates unnecessary and inconvenient delays.

The common factor behind the reasons for chargebacks in retail is the disruption of planned schedules and efficiencies. Retailers don’t issue deductions simply to punish their vendors. Instead, they do it to encourage behaviors that promote maximum efficiency and profitability for all parties.


5. Issues with ASNs

An ASN is an Advanced Shipping Notice that informs your retail or wholesale customers that their shipments are on the way. This notification can be sent via email, phone call, fax, or more complex methods such as EDI 856 transactions.

ASN chargebacks are issued for three reasons. failing to send an ASN, sending one late, or sending duplicate or invalid ASNs to the same retailer. All these scenarios create schedule disruptions and confusion for retailers. 

To avoid ASN chargebacks, send your ASNs as soon as the shipment is processed and tracking information is available. You or your team may prefer to submit these notices yourselves. However, a better option is to have your shipping team submit them on your behalf. You can reduce the chance of errors that lead to chargebacks by letting your fulfillment partners submit ASNs to your retail clients for you.


Check Out Our Blog on Amazon Chargebacks


6. Using the Wrong Carrier

Retailers often prefer working with certain carriers, especially when it comes to less than truckload (or LTL) shipments. Many LTL carriers travel to huge retail warehouses daily, while others only make those trips weekly. 

Partnering with the wrong carrier can have serious consequences. Your order may end up sitting at an LTL facility for days or even weeks. This could cause you to miss your due date, even if you had planned enough time to meet delivery deadlines.


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In today's competitive business landscape, chargebacks and deductions are common in retail partnerships. Having an effective chargeback process is crucial for maintaining profitability, operational efficiency, and smooth cash flow. 


Investing in an automated chargeback management software can provide a cost-effective solution. One such solution is iNymbus. It offers a competitive advantage by automating the process, reducing errors, and aiding in revenue recovery.


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