1) An Introduction to AfterShip
AfterShip is an integrated logistics technology platform that performs a variety of shipping and logistics-related tasks for its clients. Some of their most prominent features include automated tracking, proactive notifications, and shipping analytics.
In particular, however, they have one specific feature that makes them stand out – their product returns experience. AfterShip offers a service known as the AfterShip Returns Center, which is also available as an app on the Shopify Store. This service enables them to provide a reliable and comprehensive returns experience to their clients. How exactly do they do that? Let’s find out.
2) What is AfterShip Returns?
The AfterShip Returns Center is an all-in-one, fully customizable returns portal offered by the AfterShip platform. It enables its clients to provide a smooth and meaningful post-purchase experience to their customers. It partners with 17 well-known delivery carriers and has served over 100,000 retailers, including eBay, Etsy, and HP.
The Returns Center allows clients to pick, choose and manage their returns workflow at their convenience. It offers businesses the option to:-
- Approve returns either manually or automatically
- Filter and Search Returns
- Track and Sync the status of all return shipments
- Export CSV returns and analyze return performance
As a bonus, the Returns Center has also recently joined the Shopify App Certified App Program.
3) Why you should use AfterShip Returns
An e-commerce business has a few options when it comes to managing product returns. They can either go through the entire process in-house, negotiate agreements with specific carriers, or more prudently, outsource the process to third-party platforms such as AfterShip. The latter option might be more desirable for most people, considering the various features AfterShip has to offer:-
3.1) Branded Returns Page
AfterShip offers businesses their own branded returns portal and tracking pages that provide an engaging returns experience and boost customer loyalty. It manages a completely automated returns process and also helps in identifying common reasons for product returns. Furthermore, customers can opt for an exchange or a refund in the form of store credit.
3.2) Returns Management Portal
The AfterShip Returns Center offers a unified dashboard that lists all returns in one place to facilitate and speed up the return process. This means businesses can easily gain visibility into pending and completed returns, increasing efficiency and reducing fraud rates.
3.3) Return Notifications
AfterShip ensures timely and proactive delivery updates to the customers to reduce confusion and boost transparency and trust in the brand. This allows businesses to leverage the customer’s confidence and try to convert returns into repurchases by encouraging them to shop again.
3.4) Return Methods
AfterShip provides the customers with the option to choose how they want their products to be returned. Businesses can easily set up and configure suitable return methods in alignment with the customer’s requirements. This allows for a seamless and affordable returns experience, especially with the help of USPS discounted return labels.
3.5) Refund and Exchange Settings
AfterShip helps its clients to successfully recapture revenue from returns by configuring the settings for various orders or groups of orders. Companies can clearly identify which items are eligible for a return, exchange, or refund. Other perks include bonus credits and additional sales by exchanging items of the same value.
3.6) Non-Returnable Rules
Companies can easily specify the return rules and policies using AfterShip Returns. They can set return windows, avoid unnecessary returns by setting certain criteria and also discourage multiple returns per order. Furthermore, return policies can be classified as per product type, discount, or even tags.
3.7) Routing Rules
AfterShip’s routing rules ensure that the product returns are sent back to the right place while minimizing costs. The Returns Center automatically organises all routing rules in one place that can be changed or configured at any time as per the needs or requirements of the company.
3.8) Automation Rules
AfterShip makes use of automation to reduce return times as well as to make the process smoother and more efficient. This allows items to be sent back quicker and return requests to be resolved sooner. Automation also syncs with product tracking automatically and reduces the margin for human or manual errors.
AfterShip offers actionable analytics and statistics that paint a clear picture of the returns performance of the company. This helps clients to plan their inventory more efficiently and improve product offerings, thus reducing return rates. Analytics can also help businesses plan out a clear return strategy and optimize return workflows.
3.10) API Integration
The AfterShip Returns Center can easily integrate with the shipping API to exchange data between the two systems and ensure that they stay updated and consistent at all times. This data can provide meaningful insight on improving company performance and product lists, as well as managing returns.
4) How to create an AfterShip Returns Account
To create an AfterShip Returns account, follow the steps given below:-
- Visit the AfterShip Returns Center’s official website
- Click on the Get Started button in the upper right corner
- Enter all the necessary details. You can also sign up using your Google or Shopify Accounts.
- Click on ‘Create Free’ Account
- Sync your account with your business
- Upgrade to any of the paid plans to access extra features
5) How to track your returns using AfterShip
AfterShip allows businesses to track all their return shipments in one place. You will need an active AfterShip subscription before proceeding. To track returns using their software, follow the given steps:-
- Enable the Auto-Sync feature in the Returns Center Settings
- With the Auto-Sync feature enabled, all tracking and courier information is easily accessible in the dashboard.
- Click on any of the orders from the list in the dashboard to view corresponding tracking details
- You can also lookup specific orders using their RMA Number
6) FAQs about AfterShip Returns Center
6.1) How much does the AfterShip Returns Center cost?
The AfterShip Returns Center is free to use at under 3 returns per month. It goes all the way up to $500 per month at under 3000 returns per month. If that is not enough, businesses can also opt for the Enterprise Plan which has customized AfterShip pricing options billed as per usage.
6.2) How to cancel the AfterShip Returns Subscription
Businesses can easily upgrade or downgrade their AfterShip Return’s plans if the current plan does not suit their needs. In order to cancel the subscription altogether, you can go to the billing page, then click on Change Plan. Next up, click on ‘Cancel Subscription’, and confirm. The subscription will be cancelled at the end of the present billing cycle.
6.3) What is the AfterShip Returns Billing Cycle
The AfterShip returns billing cycle lasts up to 30 days. Your credit card is charged automatically and an invoice is sent to your e-mail ID. While usage is free for up to 3 orders, any more than that would require extra payment.
Today, we took a quick look at the AfterShip Returns Center, a service offered by AfterShip dealing with product returns and post-purchase experiences. We learnt about its workflow, the features it provides and why you might want to opt for it to manage your returns. Overall, it’s a very solid returns portal at a reasonable price that might be suitable for small to medium-sized businesses.