1) Shopify Returns- How to Improve Your eCommerce Returns Process
There are many ways for businesses to handle their returns, but depending on how they're reaching their audience plays a vital role. With an increasing number of solutions for companies in the eCommerce sector, it's only natural to contemplate and make the returns process more efficient. For Shopify owners, it can be a little tricky since not everyone is well-versed with the overall platform, to begin with. However, that is why we are here today! This article will discuss how different factors affect your current returns process and how you, as a Shopify store owner, can improve it.
2) What are the factors that affect the eCommerce returns process?
Before we elucidate how you can improve your Shopify returns, it's vital to know the different aspects affecting your current return process. If you suspect that even one of these factors may play a part in your return policy not performing up to the mark, you may want to reconsider your entire return phase from the start.
2.1) Return policy
One of the biggest aspects that impact your return process is the policy you display to your customers. A return policy shows what your Shopify store allows in terms of exchanging products and whether you support full refunds or not. If you're unaware, many customers like to visit and understand a brand's return policy before even buying a product!
It's also helpful for customers since they can determine the time restriction for claiming a return. Hence, it's a crucial part of any Shopify store to help buyers understand how you facilitate returns and their limits.
A poor and legal mumbo-jumbo document isn't readable for anyone to even get through the first line, let alone the whole policy.
2.2) Return portals
Another critical aspect of the entire returns process is how well your return portal functions. If it's glitchy or is not capable of taking a good amount of load, i.e. returns, then customers may feel demotivated to initiate the returns process over and over again until the platform works.
Another aspect of return portals is how easy it is to use. A return portal that forces the customers to keep navigating for a simple option is more likely to be never used again.
2.3) Price of shipping (if any)
If you're looking to charge your Shopify customers an additional shipping charge when they request a return, then know that potentially 80% of customers are more intrigued by the idea of having a cost-free return process.
The shipping price can directly impact whether your customer will ever make a return or, worst case scenario, any further purchases from your Shopify store. All in all, it's essential to keep an affordable shipping fee upon returns or a free return process to ensure that customers build a solid trust in your brand and have a decent experience.
3) How to Improve Your eCommerce Returns Process on Shopify
Down to the primary goal of this article, let's take a good look at some ways you can improve your existing returns process and turn it into a rather profitable sector of your Shopify store.
3.1) Have a concise return policy that calls to action
The first thing to consider is the first thing that most customers view- your return policy. For the most part, if your return policy is concise and explains how your terms and conditions work in an easy-to-understand manner, then there's no problem.
However, the part where a lot of brands may face a struggle is to create those terms. Some of the benefits customers prefer to see in a return policy include free shipping, a month-long time from the date of the order to allow returns, etc.
Your overall format of the policy will matter too. You cannot keep unreasonable terms that can only favour your Shopify store and make it impossible for the customer to make a return.
If you show chunks of texts below the other, it will not appeal to any customer. Having shorter paragraphs for different sections will help them read through quicker.
Finally, ensure that your return policy can direct buyers where they need to go to initiate the return process. A single instruction to guide them to your portal can be enough and saves the hassle of them wasting time figuring it out or contacting customer support.
3.2) Establish self-serve customer return portals
When customers send an email to your customer support team asking to start the return process, it can quickly turn into one of the most tedious experiences ever. The customer support team deals with several cases daily and may unintentionally backlog a return or two.
A portal dedicated to returns is vital since it fulfils two main purposes. The first is that you can show your patrons that you care about the returns being a good experience just as much as them, and second, it helps to keep your customer support focused on more different issues that consumers may be facing.
Self-serve portals enable customers to find their order (by typing the order number), enter basic details, and process and create a shipping label to be delivered home.
There's no help or interference from any third party, making it somewhat fun for the customers to have control over their returns process! In addition, having a self-serve customer return portal can make the entire process even more efficient.
It's highly crucial, however, to have a well-maintained portal. If your self-serve return portal crashes constantly and has several bugs, customers will feel irritated on the first step.
3.3) Focus on packaging
Prices aren't the only aspect of shipping that you should consider when making a return. A good amount of packages are treated quite roughly, potentially damaging the item(s) inside, and it's never a good idea to skimp on an extra layer of bubble wrap.
Consider all potential routes your package may go through and cover it accordingly. If your return was made due to the product being damaged/broken initially, you cannot afford to make the same mistake twice.
3.4) Group customers into specific categories
All customers are different, and learning their behaviour can be challenging for some. For all returns, try and group customers in categories beforehand. Your customers' usual behaviour in your store can give you an idea of what will most likely appeal to them in terms of making a return.
Maybe they prefer getting an exchange or even an entire refund. In any case, you can assure that you take the best steps forward to make the returns process much more satisfactory and personalised than giving every customer the same type of service.
3.5) Make use of the best return management software
One of Shopify's most exciting aspects is its app store. It allows you to install third-party plugins and integrate them within your Shopify store. Of course, this also means that many different apps cater to making the entire returns process much smoother. Visit the Shopify app store and see which one matches your needs and interests the most, or check out our list below and choose from them!
4) Best Shopify apps for returns
Now that we've dealt with the different ways to make your Shopify returns better, let's explore three apps available on the Shopify app store that can help you make your returns process a breeze.
4.1) ClickPost Returns Plus
The first app on the list is ClickPost Returns Plus - an app that enables your store to have a self-serve return portal. The portal can be customised to add your brand's logo, colours, etc., to give it a more personalised look. In addition, they provide automated tracking updates for the returns set in place. Overall, it's a great option as an all-in-one returns app.
4.2) Return Prime: Order Return
Return Prime helps you set up your entire returns process in minutes. The app allows you to manage all return requests and further configure the later steps. You can make returns via exchange of products or even refunds if needed. All in all, it's a suitable platform to manage every return request in minutes.
4.3) Return and Exchange Portal
Much like the first app, Return and Exchange Portal allows you to create a self-serve portal for customers. You can use this also to give your customers store credit if they wish and automate shipping with carriers.
5) How can Shopify store owners reduce returns?
Regarding the inevitable question of 'how can I reduce my returns?' go, it's good to know that returns aren't essentially the worst of things to experience. However, too many returns can display a carefree attitude which doesn't make a good impression.
You can first implement quality control to ensure that you do not ship defective pieces. In addition, you can add 3-D/AR technology for customers to understand your products much better before creating any confusion. These are just some of the ways by which you can potentially lower your return rates.
To wrap up, these were some of the best ways to improve your returns process on Shopify. Ensure to take care of any flaws in your existing returns process before making any new changes to make things easier!
7.1) Why do I need to improve my current returns process?
Ans: A lacklustre returns process can be a reason for customers to not buy from you again. Even if your return process is decent, it's always good to keep checking for flaws.
7.2) Are these the only ways to improve the returns process on Shopify?
Ans: The points listed here are some of the best ways by which you can enhance your Shopify returns process. Additionally, you can practice analysing your past returns to check if customers had complaints with anything and work on them.