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Discover the 12 best ways to manage returns on a Shopify store
Order fulfilment

Discover the 12 best ways to manage returns on a Shopify store

Versha Kamwal
April 17, 2023
mins read

Ecommerce platforms like Shopify have made it easier than ever for businesses to set up an online store and start selling products. However, one of the biggest challenges of running an e-commerce business is managing returns.

Returns are an inevitable part of any online business, and if not managed properly, they can result in a loss of revenue and a negative impact on customer experience.

In this blog, we'll explore some best practices for managing returns on a Shopify store.

How to manage returns on a Shopify store?

1. Create a clear return policy

The first step in managing returns on a Shopify store is to create a clear return policy. Your return policy should be easy to understand and should cover all possible scenarios. A good return policy should include the following:

  • Timeframe: Clearly define how many days customers have to return an item.
  • Condition of the Item: Specify the condition in which the item must be returned, e.g. any tags or packaging that must be included.
  • Refund or Exchange: Clarify whether the customer will receive a refund or exchange for the item.
  • Shipping Costs: State who is responsible for shipping costs in the event of a return.

Make sure to include your return policy on your Shopify store's website, so customers can easily find it. You can also include a copy of your return policy with every order.

A clear returns policy showcased on home page
A clear returns policy showcased on home page

2. Use high-quality product images and descriptions

One of the main reasons why customers return products is because they feel that the product they received was different from what they expected. To minimise the risk of returns, it's important to provide high-quality product images and detailed descriptions that accurately reflect the product. Use high-resolution images from multiple angles to give customers a clear view of the product, and provide detailed descriptions of its features, dimensions, and materials. This helps customers make an informed purchasing decision, which can reduce the likelihood of returns.

Detailed product pages with images and descriptions of Pure Home Living
Detailed product pages with images and descriptions of Pure Home Living

3. Offer excellent customer support

Offering excellent customer support is crucial for managing returns on a Shopify store. Make it easy for customers to contact you if they have any questions or concerns about their order or the return process. Respond promptly to customer inquiries, and be proactive in resolving any issues that arise. By offering great customer support, you can build trust with your customers and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.

Live chat by Loom
Live chat by Loom

4. Include product reviews

Preventing returns is always better than managing them. Implementing preventative measures can help reduce the number of returns and improve customer satisfaction. One way to prevent returns is to include customer reviews and ratings can also help customers make informed purchasing decisions.

Crozzo's reviews

5. Simplify the return process

The return process should be as simple and straightforward as possible. If customers find it difficult or confusing to return items, they may become frustrated and discouraged from making future purchases.

Eshopbox’s customer portal elevates the returns experience for customers as they can easily initiate returns on the customer portals within a click.

Eshopbox's customer portal
Eshopbox's customer portal for MPL Sports

92% of customers say they will buy again from a brand if the returns process is easy.

6. Provide tracking information for returns

Providing tracking information for returns is important for several reasons. First, it gives customers peace of mind that their return has been received and is being processed. Second, it helps you track the return process and ensures that the returned product is delivered to the correct location.

Shopify provides several ways to communicate with customers, including email notifications, SMS notifications, and order status updates. You can also use chatbots or live chat to answer customer questions in real time.

Eshopbox’s customer portal enables customers to track their returned orders since they are initiated, ready to pick till they reach the fulfilment centre, and the status of refund or exchange.

7. Track and analyse returns data for improvement

Tracking and analysing returns data can provide valuable insights into the performance of your Shopify store. By monitoring returns data, you can identify trends and patterns that can help you improve your business. Shopify provides several tools for tracking and analyzing returns data, including the Returns Dashboard, which displays metrics such as return rates, reasons for returns, and return statuses.

If a particular product is frequently returned due to quality issues, you can take steps to improve the quality of that product. For example, if you notice that customers are frequently returning a particular product, it may be a sign that there's an issue with the product's quality or description. Use this feedback to make improvements to your products and marketing materials.

8. Automate refunds

Processing refunds manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Automating refunds can save time and improve accuracy. Shopify offers several options for automating refunds, including partial refunds, full refunds, and refund by payment method.

Eshopbox’s customer portal also allows customers to choose their refund sources, such as a wallet, UPI, debit card or any other card.

9. Consider offering exchanges

A return doesn’t mark the end of the customer journey. Some shoppers may be willing to exchange an item or accept store credit for a future purchase. Others may be won over by a discount code or a related product recommendation. Offering exchanges can be a great way to retain customers and reduce the likelihood of returns. You can use Shopify's exchange management system to manage exchanges.

With Eshopbox, you can easily drive exchanges by encouraging your customers with product recommendations. So, if customers have the wrong colour or the wrong size, Eshopbox will help them find the right replacement with easy one-click exchanges.

10. Align the return shipping of the product with a scheduled delivery

When a return is initiated, you have to incur expenses on the return shipping. However, you can align the return pickup with an upcoming scheduled delivery in the same or nearby location. That’s exactly what Eshopbox does to help you save on return shipping costs.

11. Conduct a quality check and process returns according to it

Once you receive the returned product in the fulfilment centre, you need to conduct quality checks to find out if there is any defect or damage in the returned product. This is a crucial step as it will determine the next course of action.

Let’s see what Eshopbox does:

  • Refurbish the returned product if found defected or damaged during the quality check
  • Restock the returned product if it was passed during the quality check or after refurbishing it

12. Prevent and handle return fraud

You can protect your business against returns fraud by detecting fraudulent behaviour via fraud-protection software. You can also implement a quality check at the customer's doorstep and send OTP (one-time-password) to the customer to ensure the delivery of high-value orders.

Eshopbox has CCTVs and cameras to capture proof of return fraud in the fulfilment centre and doorstep quality checks to ensure legitimate returns.

Bottom line

Managing returns on Shopify involves setting up a clear return policy, providing excellent customer service, and utilising the right tools to streamline the process. You can partner up with a 3PL like Eshopbox to optimise returns management for your Shopify store which ensures profitability and a better customer experience.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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