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Artificial Intelligence in Returns Management

Product recognition for easier management of returns

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is finding its way into more and more processes and is indispensable for many companies today. AI can simplify entire processes, which leads to considerable cost savings in the long term. This example illustrates how Artificial Intelligence can increase efficiency in the online and mail order returns process.

Project Overview

Background Situation

In the case of returns, original article numbers or other required information may be missing. A direct allocation of the article is then not possible and the identification must be carried out manually. Seasonally changing collections and great similarity of products make this assignment difficult.


Unique recognition of products through an intelligent digital object recognition service.


Arvato Systems has developed a service that assigns an item to be returned using a probability indicator. The product is recognized and identified via a video recording. Thanks to neural networks, this is also possible in different lighting conditions, angles and backgrounds to the article image. An analysis of material or other additional features such as weight is also possible.


Efficiency increase in the returns process
Reduction of error rates in the returns process
Faster processing of returns