4 reasons why you should automate your returns

Remove unnecessary friction in your business

December 8, 2022

The PostCo Team

Processing returns is one of those things that can feel like such a chore, but absolutely pays off when it's done well. On the upside, you can build trust with your customers who would be more likely to revisit and repurchase at your store. On the downside, with a customer who's already dissatisfied with their purchase, you risk missing emails, refunding the wrong amount, and long wait times. The list goes on - but ends in an even more disgruntled customer.

The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way. There are many parts of the return process that can be completely automated, also leaving your team with time and energy to spend on more important tasks.

If any of the pain points below hit a little too close to home, it might be a good time to explore automating your returns process:

Pain Point #1: Extensive back and forth communication with customers

More often than not, there are multiple email exchanges required before a customer's return request can actually be initiated. This can include requesting an RMA, items going out of stock, unclear communication, or even customers trying to return items outside of your return window.

By automating your returns process, customers can clearly communicate what they'd like and select from options that you dictate. With our user-friendly and straightforward customer portal, they can decide on how they'd like to proceed with their returns in a matter of clicks.

Having a self-service portal leaves little margin for miscommunication, helps move things along faster, and gives your store a professional edge.

Pain Point #2: Needing to manually refund, issue store credit, and create exchanges

Another time consuming and tedious task is tying up all the loose ends from return requests, like manually creating exchange orders, creating and sending gift cards to customers, or retrieving banking details to issue refunds - sometimes all in the same request. Some brands reported spending several hours a day purely on returns.

With an automated returns process, all of the relevant order and return information will be consolidated in your dashboard. With a couple of clicks of approval, you'll be able to complete return requests all the way through. Through our app, we'll make sure that each customer's exchange order is created, store credit is sent out, or refund is issued, as soon as you give the go-ahead.

Having the last step automated definitely takes a load off your team, but also builds trust from customers. Knowing that the return process is quick and efficient, they're more likely to revisit your store in the future with that sense of security.

Pain Point #3: Getting customers to send the items back

Then there's the matter of actually getting the items back. When this part of the process is inconvenient for customers, many of them don't bother sending the items back at all. On the other hand, manually providing shipping labels to your customers means having to generate them one by one and email them to each customer.

By connecting a carrier account to our app, you can actually automatically generate return labels to be emailed to your customers with all of the instructions that they'll need. You can also ensure that they'd be receiving lower commercial rates instead of full retail pricing, and have a convenient and connected way to track return parcels.

Through auto-generated return labels, you give your customers all the tools they need to return their items without any additional work required on your end.

Pain Point #4: Explaining and enforcing your return policy

Manually implementing and applying specific return rules repeatedly can also be a hassle. There are so many factors to take into account when determining how to process a return, like the customer's reason for returning, their shipping country, the item type, etc. For example, you might want to offer free return shipping on exchanges only, or decline sale items from being returned.

Setting specific return rules allows you to implement your policy without having to repeat it to every customer, over and over again. Take the example above - you might want to disallow sale items from being returned. Instead of having a customer email you, and having to check on the item's status, you can set up a rule that will automatically disqualify them from proceeding with their return.

At the end of the day, each brand experiences their own pain points when it comes to returns. It's important to know that a large part of the returns process can be automated to reduce unnecessary friction, and even be used to your advantage. Get in touch with us here to start automating your returns.

Loved this article? Check out another article that's worth your time: 4 must-have Shopify Plus automation tools to tackle holiday season sales.

Join the hundreds of brands that are processing their returns with PostCo.