Streamline the Exchange Process With Instant Exchanges
Rebecca Fox

February 8, 2024

Streamline your eCommerce exchange process by offering customers the option to have their new items shipped immediately. Use ReturnGO’s instant exchanges to provide a smooth customer experience at no risk to your business.

What Are Instant Exchanges?

Instant exchanges enable customers to receive their replacement items before sending back the originals, rather than having to wait until the customer returns the old items. This improves the customer experience while protecting your business from fraud. By having the customer provide their payment details at the time of exchange, you can ship the new items immediately, without worrying that the customer may not return the old items.

As a guarantee, the customer authorizes a hold on their card for the full price of the new items. This acts as a safeguard, in case the customer doesn’t return their original items, or doesn’t return them in suitable condition. If the customer doesn’t return the items within the defined time, the full authorized amount is captured. 

Based on automation triggers you can define, once the customer ships back the items or you validate the items’ condition the relevant price difference and fees are captured from the authorized card, and any remaining amount is released. 

Customers will receive automated email reminders before the authorization expires to remind them to return the items so they won’t get charged.

How Do Instant Exchanges Work?

When a customer requests an instant exchange, here’s what happens:

  • Customer Selection – The customer selects the Instant Exchange option during the exchange process on your store’s portal.
  • Payment Input – The customer inputs their payment information into the secure payment gateway checkout system.
  • Authorization – The full amount of the new items as well as fees is authorized as a pending transaction on the customer’s credit card. Simultaneously, the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) is automatically approved.
  • Order Generation – ReturnGO generates a new order within your eCommerce store that includes any price differences and pending fees.
  • Automatic Payment and Release – Once the original items are returned, any price differences and fees are captured from the authorization and the remaining hold is released.
  • Contingency Planning – If the customer fails to return the items within the specified timeframe, the full authorized amount is automatically captured.

To ensure accurate tracking and documentation, the payment information is clearly recorded both in your order notes and RMA notes.

Why Offer Instant Exchanges?

Instant exchanges provide several key benefits that improve the online exchange experience for both you and your customers.

Improve the Customer Experience

In regular exchanges, customers often have to wait for the store to receive and process their returned items before the new items are sent out. This waiting time can frustrate customers and leave them feeling like their needs aren’t being met quickly enough. 

The process is much faster and easier with instant exchanges, since as soon as a customer asks for an exchange and gives their payment details, the new items can be sent out right away. This quick turnaround results in shorter wait times for customers, creating a better customer experience overall.

With ReturnGO’s instant exchanges, you have the flexibility to configure all exchanges to be instant or to offer customers the choice between instant and regular exchanges. By letting them choose, you give customers the freedom to select their preferred exchange method, making it less likely that they will complain about the turnaround time when they opt for regular exchanges, as they made the conscious decision to wait.

Offer instant exchanges to let customers enjoy a smoother and more straightforward exchange process, without the delays and complications that come with traditional exchanges.

Protect Your Business Against Fraud

Instant exchanges enable you to provide a better customer experience without putting your business at risk of abuse, since the credit card authorization acts as a security deposit, and if customers don’t return their original items within the defined timeframe you can capture the full authorized amount. 

This protects against cases where the customer never returns the original item, as well as cases where the customer returns the item but it’s in unacceptable condition, whether fraudulently or unintentionally.

The US retail industry loses about $101 billion each year due to return fraud, which is why it’s essential to have protective measures in place to protect your business. Requiring pre-authorization in instant exchanges provides accountability and protects your business from fraud, while offering customers an improved exchange experience.

Streamline Your Processes

With instant exchanges, customers can enjoy a simpler process by giving their card details during the exchange request, so they don’t need to receive separate invoices for price differences and fees. 

Everything is combined into one smooth transaction, with authorization and payment happening automatically in the background, so customers don’t have to do anything else. This reduces confusion and makes the whole exchange process faster and simpler for customers.

Another advantage is that once customers return their original items, they’re effectively out of the equation for the rest of the process. Your team can focus on item inspection and restocking, without needing to follow up with customers. Just make sure to process the return within the pre-authorization window to guarantee payment. 

Additionally, since exchange orders are automatically generated and payment captures are handled seamlessly in the background, there’s no need for manual intervention at each stage of the exchange process. This level of automation and efficiency saves you valuable time and resources and streamlines the entire process.

Chat with our experts to boost your customer return experience and LTV today.

Meet Customer Expectations

Nowadays, customers prioritize convenience more than ever. Speed and efficiency have become essential in meeting customer expectations, as customers increasingly value immediate solutions and are willing to pay upfront for a quicker turnaround.

Offering instant exchanges helps you satisfy customer expectations while staying competitive, positioning your business as forward-thinking and customer-focused. 

Customers looking for simple processes and quick service will be attracted to innovative solutions that focus on efficiency and convenience. In addition to improving customer satisfaction, this can lead to customer retention and loyalty from customers who recognize and appreciate your commitment to meeting their needs.

Configuring Instant Exchanges using ReturnGO

To seamlessly implement instant exchanges, begin by activating the feature in your ReturnGO account. Then connect your payment system account for credit card authorizations and payment captures for a secure and efficient payment process. 

Configure the eligible exchange policy rules, making only policy rules with auto-approval and relevant return methods qualify for instant exchanges.

Once this is done, the instant exchange option will be available to your customers for eligible exchange requests, adding an efficient and customer-friendly layer to your exchange process.

Offer Instant Exchanges to Streamline Your Exchange Process

Want to show your customers you care about speed and convenience? Give them instant exchanges! Get rid of the traditional process and let them get their exchange items right away. 
Create a smoother experience for your customers, at no risk to your business. With instant exchanges, your customers can enjoy fast and easy exchanges, while the benefits of automation and accountability make instant exchanges a win-win all around. Contact us today to start offering instant exchanges to your customers.

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Streamline your return process and ensure a great post-purchase experience for your customers.