Product returns management: a comprehensive review and future research agenda

Priya Ambilkar, Vishwas Dohale, Angappa Gunasekaran, Vijay Bilolikar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Product return is a critical issue due to the uncertainty associated with the price, demand, and quality of the product. Thus, businesses must improve their information transparency to administer the product return behaviour of the end-user. Different studies so far have contributed to developing solutions to manage product return issues. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature on the product returns management domain to provide the scientific landscape map of existing studies for exploring the state of the current body of knowledge. A systematic literature review of existing literature, quantitative bibliometric analysis, and in-depth content analysis are conducted to accomplish the purpose. A total of 518 published articles from January 1986 to November 2020 are selected, reviewed, classified, and analysed in this study. We classified papers into six identified PRM categories, namely product recovery, forecasting product returns, consumer behaviour, return policy, uncertainty, and technology. Finally, we blended the state-of-the-art research and outlined the future research agenda concerning various themes, methodologies used, and aspects like lean, agility, and disruption in PRM based on research gap analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3920-3944
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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