September 16, 2022

Optimize Your Returns Process To Save Time And Money

Optimizing your returns process is a great way to save time and money with your Shopify business. In 2017, returns cost an estimated $350 billion for US businesses. This number increases every year, especially with the high demand we’ve seen for online shopping over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When a customer is shopping with your store, they expect a robust and efficient returns process. This can elevate the shopping experience considerably and is one way to ensure repeat customers even when products are sent back.

Even though most e-commerce businesses that sell physical products handle returns, the requirements and processes are very individual to each business. That’s why many e-commerce platforms don’t automatically give you any return handling software. Luckily, I’ve got some handy tips for optimizing your returns process and integrating our returns app - Exchange It!

Reducing Returns vs. Optimizing Returns

Before I give you my top 3 tips, it’s important to clarify the difference between reducing and optimizing returns. Under the best circumstances, you’d have as few returns to your e-commerce store as possible. In reality, customers’ satisfaction or issues with a product are quite unpredictable. Returns are a natural part of the sales process.

Reducing returns is important. If you have high-quality products, accurate descriptions, and efficient service, you can reduce the likelihood of something being sent back. However, some returns are unavoidable. That is why you should focus on optimizing the returns process instead of fully reducing it.

Optimization means creating the most time and money-efficient returns process possible. This means that when you do get are turn, you have a quick, streamlined way to deal with it so it does not impact the effectiveness of the rest of your inventory and fulfillment processes.

3 Tips For Optimizing Shopify Returns

Now you know why optimizing your returns process is so important, I’ve got 3 tips for streamlining it to save time and money for yourself and your business.

Create A Simple Returns Centre

We’ve made it very clear in our previous blogs that warehouse organization is a key component of efficiency in the e-commerce world. Something we haven’t touched on, however, is that a simple and easy-to-use returns center is a very central part of this organization. This is both true for physical warehouse space and online space.

Have a dedicated space for processing returns. Label your products effectively with barcodes, and have a page or process set up online for feedback. That way, you know where something is coming from, why, and where it will be stored as the return is processed.

If you create a very simple system for receiving and processing a return, it is guaranteed you will save time and money. This is in part because every minute a return is waiting to be processed, it is costing your business.

Make returns simple

Automate The Returns Process

Once you know where returns will go and how a customer can kick-start the process, automation is the next important step. This can be built in from the start, ensuring efficiency and good time management.

Part of this is having barcode systems and automated inventory management to keep track of your stock. However, this is not all. Offering exchanges are a great way to cut down financial losses when products are returned. Luckily, can help you with automating this!

Exchange It is a seamless app that takes up no extra space and automates the returns process in a simple way. You simply download the app and link it up to your other warehouse software and hardware systems to integrate your returns into the rest of the regular workflow. You can exchange items for others of equal value, process uneven exchanges, or send replacement orders.

Track Returns Data

Finally, during the returns or exchange process, you need to be collecting lots of data. One way to optimize your returns process to save time and money is to know why products are coming back. When you know what issues are arising with your orders, you can find ways to cut down on them. 

Using an automated system like Exchange It is great because part of the app function is to collect data and analytics from returns and exchanges. You can also include open-ended questions or short multiple choice questionnaires in your online returns forms. This gives your customers the option to provide more extensive feedback with their returns and compiles useful data for your business.

There are plenty of other ways to optimize your returns process, but these 3 simple tips will get you started!

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