5 Reasons New eCommerce Stores Need an Automated Returns Portal
Rebecca Fox

March 12, 2023

You just opened your Shopify store and your sales volume is still low, so it may seem easy enough to resolve return requests by email or phone. You may be wondering why on earth you would need to set up a return and exchange portal for your online store.

Even if you’re only processing a few returns or exchanges a month, this can take hours of your time and could quickly become overwhelming. 

One of the most important things you can do as a new eCommerce merchant is set your store up to succeed. Many parts of the return process can be completely automated, leaving you and your team with time and energy to spend on more important tasks. 

By automating your store’s returns with a returns portal, you can gain more control over your return process and collect data that can ultimately improve your customer lifetime value. 

What is a returns portal?

An automated returns portal is a way to turn the return process into a self-service customer experience. With a returns portal that integrates with your Shopify store, customers can enter their order number and easily select which items they want to return, explain why they want a return, and choose a suitable solution, whether that’s an exchange for a different size or color, a full refund, or store credit.

A returns portal is a convenient way of automatically implementing your return policy and providing a fast and easy return experience for your customers.

5 ways automating your returns can help your store:

Now that you have a better idea of what having an automated returns portal can do for your Shopify store, why should you consider using one instead of manually handling returns? 

Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Increases conversion

68% of customers check the return policy before placing an order. An easy returns process gives customers the confidence to complete their purchase.

If customers need to email you to request a return, they may become wary and choose not to go through with their purchase. When customers see a user-friendly return portal, they get the feeling that your store cares about making returns easy, and are more likely to buy from you again.

Remember, customers who have a good return and exchange experience may be your best customers in the long term. Use this opportunity to give them an experience they won’t forget.

  1. Saves time with self-service returns

With an automated return portal, customers can clearly communicate what they’d like and easily select return options that you define. Having a self-service portal leaves little room for miscommunication, makes the returns process move along faster, and gives your online store a competitive edge.

Manually handling exchange orders, creating gift cards, and retrieving banking details for refunds can be tedious and time-consuming for you and your team. With an automated returns process, all of the order and return information is in one place, and return requests can be managed easily and efficiently.

  1. Increases exchanges and reduces refunds

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by incoming return requests and you may find it simpler to offer a full refund for every product that’s returned. Refunds may be faster and simpler for you to manage but are less than ideal for your customers.

More than half of Shopify returns are due to customers ordering the wrong size or style. Giving customers the option to exchange their order for a more suitable product leaves them with an excellent customer experience and increases the chance they’ll buy from your store again.

With a returns portal, customers have the option of easily requesting an exchange. They can select the products they want to return and browse your store to find the products they would like in exchange.

  1. Helps you understand your customers and products

Analyzing insights into which products customers are returning and why can help you reduce your return rate. When you know why customers keep returning certain items, you can take action on improving product descriptions, meeting customer expectations in shipping and customer service, and more. 

Having the relevant information can ultimately save you time and money. Utilize this tool to retain customers and set up your store for success.

  1. Streamlines return management

Automation makes handling returns simpler. Confirmation emails and shipping labels are automatically generated and sent to your customers. An automated returns system allows your business to become extremely efficient by removing the most tedious steps in the return process.

Using a digital return management system ensures that all the information gathered throughout the return process is stored in one place and your team can always be on the same page, so there’s no risk of losing essential pieces of information.

Take Control of Your Returns

Handling returns shouldn’t slow you down or hold you back. When done right, return policies and processes can take pressure off you and your team and increase customer lifetime value.

Each brand experiences its own pain points when it comes to returns. It helps to know that a large part of the eCommerce returns process can be automated to reduce unnecessary friction and used to your advantage. 

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