When you have a store on Shopify, you have access to an entire ecosystem of apps that will help you streamline and automate your business, based on your unique needs and capabilities.

Retailers can get support with all the functions of running an ecommerce business, including email marketing, shop design, product sourcing, product fulfillment, and of course, back-end commerce services through a secure platform.

If you build a customized platform geared towards your target market and promote it well, the customers will come — but your job doesn’t stop there.

Keep in mind that even if you have a great online shop, a certain percentage of customers (up to 40% in some cases) are likely to return a product.

That means you need to make the returns experience as seamless as the initial purchase experience — and the best way to do that is by using returns management automation as part of your ecommerce workflow.

Incentivizing exchanges with returns management automation software

By using a returns management solution like Loop, which integrates directly into your Shopify store’s ecosystem, you’ll be able to create streamlined workflows that help you guide the customer through a self-service portal to achieve their goal in the space of seconds — whether it’s a refund or exchange.

With a returns management system, customers can access a drop-down menu that allows them to provide their reason for returning a given item: Was it too big, too small, the wrong color, or were they just not digging it?

Then, your solution will be able to offer a remedy for the problem based on their feedback.
If a sweatshirt was too big, the tool can pull from your brand’s real-time inventory to locate the same product in the next size down, and the shopper can request an instant exchange without needing to return to their shopping cart.

If the customer simply didn’t like the product, you’ll be able to display a series of “recommended products” that they may prefer, based on what’s been popular in the same category with other customers, or based on their past purchase history. They can exchange the product for an entirely new item, paying or receiving a refund for the difference in cost. To incentivize an exchange, you can even offer them “bonus credit” so that they can purchase a new item of higher value for the same cost.

Incentivizing exchanges can help you build long-term customer relationships that might otherwise end with a return, and gives you the ability to retain more revenue from returns: Loop customers retain an average of 40% on returns, helping you increase your bottom line.

Building sustainability into your returns management system

If the customer ultimately decides that they’d like a refund for the product, you can use automated returns management technology to determine how to proceed.

In cases where the product can’t be resold, it’s costly and wasteful to request the product back — but many retailers do it as standard practice anyway.

A better alternative? Use Loop’s Workflows tool to set rules for when a product should be shipped back to the warehouse, shipped to a donation center, or when you should simply ask the customer to recycle or give away the product, even though they’ll still receive a refund.

By setting conditional logic for each product to determine the outcome for the product, you can save money on reverse logistics while also improving your efforts towards sustainability. If you choose to provide a refund without requesting return shipping for a low-value product, or one that you won’t be able to resell, you can encourage your customers to recycle or give away the item so that it doesn’t simply end up in a landfill.

And in cases where you know the item can be resold and it’s worth the cost of reverse logistics, you can simply provide the customer with a prepaid shipping label or scannable QR code so that they can send the item back for a full refund.

Better customer satisfaction and improved customer support

Moving to an automated returns management system enables you to provide a superior customer experience. Rather than trying to dig through pages of legalese and try to understand your policies, then playing phone or email tag with customer support agents, your customers are empowered to process their own returns and exchanges through an automated platform, and get a resolution to their issue within the space of seconds — even as you’re able to optimize your workflow to encourage better revenue and customer retention with exchanges.

Streamlining your process for managing returns can also free up your customer support agents to provide more in-depth support where it’s needed, rather than spending most of their time dealing with support tickets to help customers process returns. As a result, they can spend more time on specialized inquiries, supporting the sales process and driving more revenue.

Integrating returns management software into your Shopify store

If you’re ready to consider a returns management solution, it’s a simple process to integrate Loop into your Shopify store.

Just purchase a Loop app subscription in the Shopify ecommerce app marketplace, and set it up on your site. Loop has dozens of plug-and-play integrations, so it should easily work with the other ecommerce tools that you’re likely already using, such as Whiplash and Gorgias, and with carriers including USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Loop will be able to share data with these tools to track your product inventory, create shipping labels, and more.

By building a hassle-free returns experience for your Shopify store, you can create a powerful competitive advantage. Ecommerce returns are a way of life — so brands that get that, and have built a robust automated process for effectively managing returns are likely to see customers come back again and again. In fact, 84% of customers say a positive returns experience means they’re likely to shop with a brand again.

Interested in learning more about how to drive customer loyalty and retain revenue through returns management automation? Contact our team for a demo.