Product returns data processing

Article author
Matt Hanan
  • Updated

The purpose of this document is to describe how product returns data can be set up to adjust sales reporting for products that were returned or canceled by the customer. Setting this up is not required, but gives you a more complete picture of the sales that have been tracked by the platform.

The following items are required to enable product returns data processing:

  1. A list of transactions to check for any returns
  2. A list of items that were returned (canceled or otherwise)

The way the process works is, on a daily basis, the platform will export a list of transactions. A process set up by you, will fetch the transaction list from a secure FTP location and query your ERP (or commerce platform) for any products from those transactions that have been returned. The list of returned items is uploaded to the same secure FTP, the Creatable platform will ingest the list and update the analytics sales reporting to reflect the negative quantities against the original purchases.

List of transactions format

The list of transactions is simply that, one transaction ID per line.







The file should only contain a list of transaction IDs that will be checked by the ERP or commerce platform for any returned items.

List of items returned

The list of items returned is a slightly more complicated format. This is to ensure that we have the information we need to properly report the returned items.



This file must contain a “header” row with column names. The file must be TSV (Tab-separated format). 

The columns are defined as:

  1. transaction_id: The ID of the original order placed that the item is was returned again.
  2. order_status: Either RETURN or CANCEL.
  3. order_date: The date the item was returned, YYYY-MM-DD format.
  4. order_time: The time the item was returned, HH:MM:SS 24-hour format.
  5. product_id: The parent ID of the product.
  6. sku: The variant ID of the product (this is the exact ID of the item returned).
  7. quantity: The quantity of the items returned (always expressed as a negative number).
  8. price: The amount of a single quantity of the item returned.
  9. sku_description: A title or short description of the item.

Once the exchange of files is in place and operational (transaction file is being accessed, returned items file is being placed back on the secure FTP), the final configuration can be completed.

To do this, coordinate with your client success account representative ( to complete the final configuration.