Written by Starshipit
Let's face it. Returns can be a challenge when running an eCommerce business, adding yet another task to your to-do list.
But effectively managing returns can add another feather to your cap and give your eCommerce business a point of difference. And, with the right software solutions in place, you can reduce the pain of manual returns to the point where it’s just another part of doing business.
In this article, we’ll explore the state of returns today, the best options for efficient returns, the Shopify returns process and how you can make the process easier with powerful fulfilment automation software. Let’s dive in!
Whether you like it or not, customers return products – and the number is climbing. A 2021 report from IMRG found that a quarter of all consumers return between 5 and 15 percent of the products they buy online.
Another survey noted that most customers also check returns policies before making a purchase, with 40 percent of those respondents saying they wouldn’t order a product unless the returns period was at least 30 days. A substantial 74 percent said they wouldn’t place an order if they had to pay for their own return.
And, back in 2020, the NRF estimated the cost of holiday returns alone to be around $101 billion. Yes, billion with a ‘B’.
The world’s big retailers have already recognised the writing on the wall. Amazon offers extended return periods during the peak season, meaning products purchased from October through December could be returned up until the end of January.
While it may seem impossible to keep up with the likes of Amazon, there’s a lot you can do – even if you’re running a very small eCommerce business – to ensure returns aren’t a pain point, for you or your customers.
We’ve talked generally about the importance of managing returns – but what about Shopify returns?
Thankfully, Shopify has a robust system for handling returns and refunds.
You can read the detailed instructions for these processes on the Shopify Help Centre.
Of course, if you’re looking for more out of your returns process, you might want to try using fulfilment automation software, like Starshipit. In addition to returns, opting for shipping software also gives you a range of other benefits, including simple integrations with your couriers and platforms and a single dashboard view of all your orders.
Fulfilment automation software – like Starshipit – can simplify the returns process for your eCommerce business, making things easier for both your staff and your customers.
Starshipit includes options for both manual returns (where you process the return) as well as self-service returns (where customers can process their own returns through a branded returns portal.
Using a branded, self-service returns portal has several key benefits:
You can also customise the returns portal to suit your unique requirements. For example, you might want to use the rules engine to ensure your portal mirrors what’s in your returns policy (like rejecting certain SKUs). You may also want to send branded emails and SMS notifications throughout the returns process to keep customers in the loop.
Interested in the other features of a branded returns portal? Check out this article on our Support Centre for a full list of features.
And that’s returns! Whether you’re running an eCommerce business and needing to manage Shopify returns or you use another solution, there’s a lot you can do to ensure returns doesn’t come a time or cost sink for your business.