1) Overview of eCommerce Returns
Up until a few years ago, customers who shopped online didn't have the opportunity or the facility to return the products they bought in case they were facing issues. They were expected to be satisfied with whatever they received, or purchased from brick-and-mortar stores.
But as time passed and as eCommerce evolved, online sellers started paying more attention to customer satisfaction, which involved not just facilitating a smooth buying process, but also refining the post-purchase experience and creating a seamless eCommerce returns workflow.
From the biggest eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon to leading shipping carriers like ClickPost and FedEx, everyone has a well-thought-out returns policy in place today. eCommerce returns, though not ideal for businesses for obvious reasons, are an aspect most buyers look out for when purchasing online. They like to have the option of returning products in case of issues.
This is why companies like FedEx provide FedEx eCommerce Returns to their customers so that they feel confident when purchasing online. In this post, we will shed light on FedEx eCommerce Returns and a few other critical aspects of FedEx shipping.
2) What is FedEx, and how does it work?
FedEx Corporation is an American multinational company serving in the transportation, services, and eCommerce domain. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, since 1973, when it first started its operations, the company today has over 484,000 employees with an estimated market value of $59,971.3.
FedEx's working technique is quite simple. For ground and home deliveries, customers are requested to either create a shipment or schedule a pickup through its website. They can even call on its toll-free number or visit its nearest store.
Once order details are updated in the system, the route is automatically devised by looking at the postal or zip code. Later, these routes, which come with predetermined boundaries, are broken up into smaller geographical zones by ISPs (FedEx's Independent Service Providers). This step ensures all drivers don't have to travel to distant locations to make deliveries.
As soon as the drivers assemble at the FedEx depot, they're asked to scan the barcode on the parcels present in their pile and load it on their vehicles. In case a driver comes across a parcel that doesn't belong to his route, the system alerts the driver, saving him from traveling unnecessarily.
3) FedEx eCommerce returns overview
Staying afloat with changing customer demands is what leaders do to survive and thrive in competitive market spaces. And that’s exactly what FedEx did to cope with rising customer demands for seamless return channels.
FedEx came up with a new platform in 2018, its FedEx Returns Technology, to cater to merchant and e-tailer needs and fulfill demands for eCommerce returns. FedEx Returns Technology offers both integrated and non-integrated solutions to its customers to enhance control and visibility throughout the returns process without charging any additional fees.
Let’s go through both kinds of solutions in detail.
3.1) Non-integrated solutions
Non-integrated solutions are devised keeping the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Merchants and e-tailers who handle eCommerce returns weekly or monthly can create labels under this option in two ways:
a) Merchant self-serve
This option allows online sellers or their customer service teams to create labels on the dashboard while being on call with customers.
b) Shopper self-serve
Using this service, customers can create labels without connecting with a customer service executive. They can simply visit the link provided by the seller on their website or in their order email.
3.2) Integrated solutions
For merchants and e-tailers dealing with a lot of eCommerce returns daily, there are many integrated options to choose from.
a) Webpage window
This option requires online sellers to create an application on their website where customers can easily access labels. Sellers don't have to build a returns flow system themselves. With minimum integration, they can manage returns hassle-freely.
b) Simple label
Merchants and e-tailers already using FedEx's online services for label generation can offer their customers QR codes for no-label returns. To implement this service, they'll have to generate an API pass and create a profile on FedEx Returns Technology.
c) Real-time at retail
With this option, upon visiting the FedEx office, customers can get labels printed on the spot after a live web call is made to initiate the returns process.
d) API Integration
Through this service, merchants and e-tailers can allow customers to print labels on their websites using their return systems.
3.3) How does FedEx Returns Technology help customers?
FedEx Returns Technology simplifies the process of eCommerce returns for many merchants and e-tailers. It gives them access to the following services and offers them many benefits, including:
a) QR codes for no-label returns
QR codes simplify the process of printing labels. Customers don't have to spend hours on FedEx's website to print labels. They can simply show the QR code at any FedEx office and get labels printed easily.
b) Enable no-box returns
Merchants and e-tailers can request their customers to collect QR codes from their website or at HappyReturns.com. Customers can visit their nearest FedEx office carrying only the items that need to be returned along with the QR code and complete the returns process.
c) Track drop-offs
Every customer wants a quick refund after returning products. With FedEx's Returns Technology, online sellers can track the customers who are dropping off returns and issue credits sooner.
d) Quick decision making
With access to returns data, merchants and e-tailers can take the necessary measures to reduce returns. They can manage inventory and also prevent mistakes on their part.
e) Save money
When merchants and e-tailers have an idea of how many returns they have to deal with monthly, they can choose better shipping services to tackle the costs involved.
4) How to use the FedEx eCommerce returns system?
Whether you are an experienced FedEx eCommerce returns system user or a novice trying to understand FedEx's return process, you can easily print labels using a customer's RMA (return merchandise authorization) number by following the steps given below.
4.1) Step-1: Identify the RMA
Generally, all customers are provided return instructions, including an RMA number, with their shipments. Some are even offered additional instructions directed at the FedEx Return System location employee.
When you visit the FedEx Return System location, the employees there should use these additional instructions or just the RMA number to verify whether or not the shipment is authorized by the application. In case the system fails to recognize the RMA number, employees should make multiple attempts or contact the FedEx Return System Hotline (1.800.305.0593).
4.2) Step-2: Operate the FedEx Return System
To access the FedEx Return System, you must be an authorized user. First, you need to go to the URL (www.fedex.com/webfence) on your browser. This URL will take you to a log-in screen where you need to enter your Username and Password. Upon pressing the Log-in button, you will be directed to the RMA Search screen.
4.3) Step-3: Enter the RMA number
Upon successful login, you will be taken to the RMA search page. In case the browser doesn't open the RMA search page directly, click on the Accept button to navigate to that page. Enter the RMA number or scan the RMA barcode and press Search.
4.4) Step-4: Verifying the RMA number
If the RMA number gets confirmed, a set of instructions will appear, guiding you toward the next step. Go through the instructions carefully and press the Next button.
4.5) Step-5: Update the weight
At this page, you will be asked to enter the weight of the product. You don't need to mention the accurate weight; you can round it off to the next pound. Once done, click the Next button.
4.6) Step-6: Print the label & customer receipt
After updating the weight, you will be taken to the package placement screen. Here you can print labels that go on the shipment and also the customer receipt, which is handed over to the customer as proof of eCommerce return.
5) Benefits of using the FedEx eCommerce return system
The FedEx eCommerce return system ensures merchants and e-tailers can meet the goals of their customers. It offers them full control and visibility of the returns process, thereby making it more transparent and customer-friendly. Here are some of its benefits:
5.1) Benefits to merchants & e-tailers
a) Saves money
FedEx's Return System gives sellers an idea of their daily or monthly return requests, pushing them to make smart shipping choices and reduce the overall cost.
b) Helps make quick decisions
Merchants and e-tailers have full access to the returns data on FedEx's Return System. They can use this data to manage their inventory and pass necessary staff judgments to curb the number of eCommerce returns.
c) Easy tracking
Along with an efficient return system, FedEx provides an advanced tracking system that gives sellers complete visibility of whether their shipment is yet to depart or is stuck in transit.
5.2) Benefits to customers
a) Simple returns process
Customers can get access to printed labels in their shipments which can be pasted on the parcel and submitted to the nearby FedEx office. In case the seller doesn't provide printed labels, customers can get them printed through a link provided on the seller's website or the order's email confirmation sent by the seller.
b) Availability of numerous pickup options
At FedEx, customers can return the shipment in many ways:
b.1) They can walk into the nearest FedEx location
b.2) They can hand it over at the time of their FedEx daily pickup
b.3) They can schedule a pickup by calling customer service and hand over the air waybill number of the shipment
6) How to create a return shipping label on fedex.com?
Once you know the basic steps, creating a return label on FedEx is quite simple.
a) Open the FedEx website and select your location from the Shipping Location drop-down menu.
b) Enter your Username and Password and click on the login button. In case you are not registered, click on the Register Now link and go to “Open a FedEx account.” Enter the required information along with agreeing to the company's T&C's and press Continue.
c) On the dashboard, find the Ship tab and click the Create Shipment option.
d) When you arrive on the FedEx Ship Manager page, click the Prepare Shipment tab and select the Create Return Shipment option from the drop-down menu.
e) Fill in your company's shipment information in the Return Package To section and the customers' details in the Return Package From section.
f) Now go to the Return Label Type and select your preference from the drop-down list.
g) Next, click on the Package Type drop-down menu and choose your preferred return delivery method.
h) Enter the package details, including the type of packaging and the overall weight.
i) When taken to the Billing Details section, review your billing information and click the Ship button to move forward in the shipment process and verify the shipment details on the confirmation page.
j) Once the shipment details are reviewed, again press the Ship button to view the final return label.
7) How to print return shipping labels?
Printing return shipment labels on FedEx involves the same steps as creating the label, except for one single change. While selecting the Return Label Type (as mentioned in step ‘f’ of How to create a return label on fedex.com?), choose the printed return label option. And at the end, when you'll be reviewing shipping details, click the Print button below to get your return shipping label printed.
8) How to package the return for shipment?
FedEx has different packing guidelines for different products. For general products, customers are expected to follow the steps given below.
a) Get a box that can handle the size and weight of your product.
b) Wrap your product and add extra padding on sharp edges to keep it safe while shipping.
c) Add the product to the box and fill in the empty spaces with other packing materials.
d) Seal the box with at least two inches wide packing tape in the H shape.
e) Paste the return label on the box, and secure it with tape.
For other additional information, visit the FedEx website.
9) What to do if an item is damaged during shipping?
Waiting for a shipment for a long period and then finding out it has been damaged during the shipping process could be hard on customers. But instead of throwing away the shipment or blaming the delivery person, you can follow the steps below to get a refund.
If you notice the damage during delivery, you can ask the delivery person to verify it on the spot or take it to a FedEx facility for inspection. In case you miss out on that opportunity, you can still file for damages within 60 days.
You can use numerous ways of claiming damages, either through phone, mail, or by visiting the FedEx website. For claiming damages on the FedEx website, follow these guidelines:
a) Visit the FedEx website
b) Click on Support
c) Choose File a Claim
d) Press on Start a Claim
e) Fill in the necessary details (i.e., your tracking number)
f) Under Claim Type, select Shipment Damaged and press Continue
g) Follow the steps and submit your claim
For claiming damage through phone or mail, visit the FedEx website.
10) What to do if an item is lost during shipping?
FedEx is a trusted brand when it comes to shipment delivery and eCommerce returns. However, sometimes even FedEx can make mistakes like losing a shipment.
In case this happens with your product, you can make a claim on their website by following the steps given below:
a) Visit the FedEx website
b) Click on Support
c) Choose File a Claim
d) Press on Start a Claim
e) Fill in the necessary details (i.e., your tracking number)
f) Under Claim Type, select Shipment not received and press Continue
11) Frequently asked questions about FedEx eCommerce returns
Going through the article, if you still feel some of your queries remain unanswered, check the list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) mentioned below.
11.1) Who is responsible for paying for the print or email return label shipment?
The seller needs to pay for the print or return label shipment. You can add the return shipment transportation charges and surcharges on the seller's FedEx account number or any third party's FedEx account number (if it's provided by the seller).
11.2) Can I print the FedEx Return Label at FedEx?
Yes, you can print FedEx Return Label at FedEx by showing your QR or barcode to a FedEx facility member.
11.3) Can I track the status of my return packages on FedEx?
Yes, by using the tracking tool on the FedEx website, customers can track all returns on FedEx. Plus, if you log in you can get a detailed report of how many shipments have been returned, how many are in transit, and how many return labels stand unutilized.
11.4) How to create a FedEx return label?
To create a FedEx return label, you need to sign in to your account. Click on Create Return Shipment and fill in the necessary details. Then you have to press Create Return Label Shipment, and from that page, you are directed to another page where you can click on Print and get the label printed.
FedEx, like any other eCommerce company, aims at customer satisfaction. It provides numerous products to resolve the issues faced by merchants and e-tailers, and their customers. However, controlling eCommerce returns doesn't lie in the hands of the company. But it does provide necessary tools for its customers to understand their loyal customers' shopping and return patterns and take effective measures in that direction.