Choosing the right returns management partner can make all the difference to your online store experience. An inefficient or clunky returns policy can create unnecessary friction for the shopper, and turn them away from your brand permanently, which is highly damaging to both revenue and company reputation. With the right support, merchants can design and implement a returns strategy that actually improves customer experience and helps protect the bottom line.
Investing in the right returns management software is crucial for your business. Learn more in the Future of Returns.
To help identify the right returns management platform for your ecommerce store, here’s a breakdown of how Loop measures up against Swap Commerce.
In this blog, we’ll cover how each company handles:
- Value-add returns features
- Shopify Integrations
- Future Growth and Innovation
Let’s start by introducing these two great service providers.
Both Loop and Swap Commerce aim to make the returns process easy for both merchants and shoppers.
As digital returns management platforms, both companies focus on simplifying the customer experience of returns, with automatically-generated shipping labels and easy refunds. The ultimate goal is keeping shoppers engaged and happy, even during a return, so that they keep shopping at the store and increase their customer lifetime value.
One of the key functions of a returns management service is optimizing the exchange process. Online shoppers don’t want to have to wait days for their returned item to be received before they are able to initiate an exchange. This kind of delay can even encourage shoppers to skip the exchange process altogether, opting for a refund and buying a replacement item from another outlet. This is bad for both brand loyalty and the bottom line—making a smooth exchange solution a huge value-add for online merchants.
At Swap Commerce, the emphasis is on replacing refunds with store gift cards, to encourage shoppers to keep their spending within the online store. At the point of return, customers can receive a gift card that they can put towards any future purchase, eliminating the need to re-enter payment details. This is particularly useful for gift items as the recipient can receive the credited funds and make a more appropriate selection. The risk is that shoppers may save that gift card for a rainy day and then forget to use it at all, leaving the merchant without the sale.
Swap Commerce is now exploring the functionality of exchanges within the return flow, which is something that Loop has pioneered with its “Shop Now“ feature—with proven results. By enabling customers to review other products within the returns workflow, there is an increased likelihood that they will choose a new item and avoid the refund process. They may even select a higher-value product, increasing the revenue for the merchant (what’s known as an upsell). Loop’s slick exchange interface means customers can walk away feeling like they’ve left the interaction with an even better product than they originally purchased.
Other value-add returns features
As a newer company, Swap Commerce currently focuses on the key components of returns: an efficient online portal, fast logistics and real-time data. However, they do also offer a resell & recycle program, which can help companies boost their sustainability performance. If a merchant’s returned items cannot be re-merchandised within their own storefront, Swap Commerce offers the ability to divert these unused items to other marketplaces, reducing waste and retaining some of the item’s value. They cannot ensure that these items will then be bought, but it eliminates a logistical step for the merchant.
At Loop, the emphasis is on making the returns experience as customizable as possible to better serve the needs of individual retailers. The workflow that all merchants go through can be personalized to include only the questions that are relevant to that retailer, such as detailed reasons for return beyond just “too big.” This information can then be used to better understand customer preferences and product defects, so you can make meaningful changes.
Loop also provides the ability to add incentives for certain interactions, like additional store credit if the shopper makes a new purchase right then. These incentives can prove incredibly valuable over time, and help the customer feel like they got a great deal, while ensuring they don’t take their business elsewhere.
To get the most value out of a returns management platform, it’s important that it is able to integrate efficiently with your other retail applications. Shopify compatibility is crucial as it is one of the leading ecommerce platforms and a popular choice for smaller online merchants, as well as large-scale retailers. Both Swap Commerce and Loop support Shopify, but Loop has the edge in terms of integration support.
While both companies enable retailers to sync with Gorgias, a customer service solution, Loop also provides functionality for other popular solutions like Klaviyo, Attentive, and Zendesk. This ensures that whichever provider a retailer is working with, they can be confident that this tool will work seamlessly in collaboration with their returns management. Similarly to how Swap Commerce has a resell & recycle program, Loop has resale integrations like Arrive to help mitigate the waste inherent in returns.
Future growth & innovation
The ideal returns management partner is one that you can work with long-term, growing and scaling together. Loop is the more established company, founded in 2017 with over 165 employees. Swap Commerce was launched in 2021 and currently operates with approximately 15 employees. This means that Loop has greater support capabilities, by virtue of operating a larger and more comprehensive workforce. With more resources, individual customization and service can become a reality.
As a newer contender in the marketplace, Swap Commerce has been able to hit the ground running. However, it can be challenging to launch new features with a much smaller development team. There hasn’t yet been sufficient time to see how they will approach future innovation. Loop has a proven track record of introducing new tools for its customers, from Instant Exchanges to Shop Later.
Want to take your returns to the next level? Book a demo with Loop today.