Manhattan Associates is delivering a new late-stage order cancellation solution, allowing customers to cancel orders up to the point of manifested/loaded status.

It means brands can offer an extended window of opportunity for cancellation, preventing unwanted shipments and costly returns.

“Customers often change their minds – it is just a part of doing business. How a company wishes to react, however, should be a business decision, not simply constrained by a retailer’s system capabilities,” Manhattan Associates managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Raghav Sibal said.

“Previously, when customers decided they wanted to cancel an order, they might not be able to depending on how quickly the order was dropped to the warehouse. In most cases, the order could not be cancelled once it was allocated, limiting the timeframe customers could change their mind prior to an unwanted shipment going on its way.”

Manhattan’s new late-stage order cancellation capability allows retailers to amend and cancel orders up to the moment the truck leaves, providing more flexibility in handling late-stage cancellations and negating the costly carbon footprint often associated with returns processes.

“Retail systems should not restrict consumer behaviour, so we’ve introduced the ability to cancel orders in our Warehouse Management System (WMS) much later in the fulfilment lifecycle. Not only does that improve customer satisfaction, it reduces shipping waste and the unwanted carbon footprint associated returns,” Sibal added.

The new capabilities build on Manhattan Associates’ existing digital self-service capabilities, which allow customers to also cancel items being shipped to their address from a distribution centre (DC) or a store without having to reach out to a contact centre.

“We’ve all been in a position where we’d like to be able to amend or cancel an online order but the ‘point of no return’ or ‘remorse period’ has been reached. When these situations occur, it causes friction and frustration for the customer who has to return the item, not to mention the time and cost for the retailer who will often have to absorb the shipping, handling and environmental costs of the return.

“With Manhattan’s latest order cancellation capabilities all these issues can be resolved at the source, making for happier customers, better margins for the retailer, and a lesser impact on the environment – a triple threat of benefits that everyone can get behind.”