5 Reasons Not to Manage Returns by Email
Rebecca Fox

March 12, 2023

Returns can be a huge headache for Shopify merchants. Returns mean additional time and energy spent processing packages, issuing refunds, and trying to keep your customers happy.

With a small Shopify store, you might only be dealing with a couple of returns a month, so handling them via email doesn’t seem like too big of a deal. When you run a bigger store it can be difficult to change the existing processes, even when what started off as a few emails back and forth starts adding up to hours of work a week.

No matter the size of your store, it’s all about setting up the right foundation to help your business as you grow. Small things like handling returns by email can add up in the long run.

Here are 5 reasons why you may not want to continue handling returns through email.

5 Reasons Not to Manage Returns by Email

1. Long Process

Extensive back-and-forths with customers take up a lot of time and energy for both sides. Customers expect to receive a refund quickly, and the longer the returns process takes, the less likely a customer is to buy from you again. 

Automating the process using a returns portal enables your customer to easily select the item they have a problem with, what the issue is, and what solution they want. They can instantly receive store credit or exchange the item for a different size or color.

This saves you time and energy and provides your customer with a quick, convenient, and seamless returns process.

2. Lack of Defined Eligibility Rules

Take into consideration that customers might not know which products can be returned or exchanged, and what the solutions may be. You then have to analyze each return request individually, decide what to do with it, and let your customer know what solutions are available. This turns into a long and complicated process. 

With a returns portal, the customer knows under what conditions the product can be returned, for what it could be exchanged, and what to expect during the returns process. This prevents misunderstandings and enables the whole process to flow smoothly.

3. Reduced Customer Satisfaction

Your customers are likely to get frustrated by the long and complicated email chain, by feeling misinterpreted, or not knowing what to expect next. 

Customers want a fast and easy returns process. As soon as the process becomes complicated or requires too much effort from them, customers may not feel it’s worth their time and might choose to buy from a seller who offers a more convenient returns process. 

It’s not worth losing customers over a refund or exchange.

4. Miscommunications

Emails can easily be misinterpreted or miss details. Requesting images as proof, understanding the customer’s request, and clearly communicating your solution all become complicated when sent over email. It’s also difficult to keep customers updated throughout the shipping process. 

Customers may get frustrated if they are unsure how the return process works, when to expect a refund or replacement, or what information is required from them.

5. Hard to Track

It’s difficult to monitor and keep track of multiple return requests at different stages for different customers. Without having them all laid out in one place, it’s easy to forget or overlook customer requests. 

Automating the process with a returns management system helps you keep track of all your return requests in one place, reducing the likelihood of customers feeling neglected or forgotten.


While it is possible to handle return requests via email, especially when you’re only dealing with a few returns a month, you really shouldn’t have to keep track of everything yourself and manually analyze every return request. 

Ideally, the returns process should be smooth and convenient both for you and for your customers. It’s not worth losing customers over a long and complicated returns process. Save yourself time and energy by automating your returns process with our return management system

Make it easy for your customers to request an exchange, credit, or refund through a branded returns portal. Keep track of your return requests on your personalized dashboard, and sit back as your customers receive automated email updates and solutions.

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