Every  online store owner  understands that great customer service is vital to the growth and success of his/her ecommerce business. One of the essential aspects of establishing customer-centric service is simplifying your Shopify refund and return policy. Spending a little  time and to determine the right approach for your Shopify return policy can give you an edge over your competitors.

According to a study by ReadyCloud, more than 80% of online shoppers won’t place an order with a store that doesn’t ensure easy returns, and the same number of customers is likely to abandon their shopping cart for  the same reason.

 

 

Before you start developing a refund policy for your Shopify store, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What does the customer want to learn about your refund policy?  Customers will usually look for answers to the following questions:

- Can I exchange the products that don’t fit me, or that I don’t want to keep?

- What if I decide to return my order?

- How much does it cost to make a return?

- Within how many days am I allowed to send the products back?

- How fast can I get a refund?

- Which refund methods are available?

In order to better understand what a good return policy can be like, let’s have a look at the real examples of two well-known retail fashion brands, Cupshe and Zappos.

 

 

Cupshe generated its millions in profit by selling fast-fashion clothes at affordable prices. Although Cupshe has expanded its market and opened new warehouses closer to the most profitable customers, the company’s returns and refunds policy is lacking.

 

 

According to the customer reviews, Cupshe customer service also  prefers to offer coupons rather than make an immediate refund.

Creating a return policy allowing a customer s to return the goods within 30 days and issuing store credits instead of an actual refund is an easy method in the short run, it can diminish credibility in the eyes of the customer. A more strategic approach to returns and refunds is a way to gain customer loyalty and retention. Zappos is building their returns strategy with customer-centric conditions on return and exchange.

 

 

Zappos built their return and refund strategy keeping in mind the best service they can provide to their most loyal customers. Besides providing detailed instructions on their website for how to perform a return, they provide every customer with free shipping and a flexible 365-day period to return a product.  

After generating your clear and easy-to-understand return policy with all essential details included, add it to the relevant pages on your website. When you add your policy in the Shopify checkout settings, by default, it will link it to the footer on the checkout page. In order to make your return policy visible to your website visitors before checkout, create a webpage and link it to the relevant item in your menu.  

Returns in Shopify: standard refund and return procedure

Creating a standard procedure for issuing a refund on returned products in Shopify is pretty straightforward, but a few aspects should be taken into account to make your return policy clear and user-friendly.

1. Shopify has a feature allowing you to provide a customer with a full or partial refund of an order.

2. There is also an option to note returned products down in your inventory by checking the box “Restock Item.” Then the claimed quantity of products in the order will be restocked back to your shop.

3. You can send automatic emails to the customers notifying them about refunds in progress.

4. If you want to refund shipping costs, you should manually edit the total amount to be refunded.

5. If you don’t use Shopify Payments (which is restricted to a few countries), you need to cancel the order after issuing a refund to have your transaction fees refunded. When you issue a to refund a customer after you have been billed for an order, the credit for this transaction fee will be included in the next invoice.

6. If you use third-party payment gateways, such as PayPal, Stripe, and others, to accept credit cards, you might need to check if they provide a refund function in the Shopify dashboard for automatic refunds, or you need to perform an additional refund manually.  

7. If a chargeback is initiated, Shopify Payments charges you a fee to cover the costs of the dispute processing.

As you can see, handling returns and refunds in Shopify can turn into a procedure that complicates your accounting workflows and inventory order, and  your ROI rates. That is when we turn to the Shopify App Store’s multiple plugins to build a comprehensive and adaptive return strategy.

Returns in Shopify: the best return apps

Shopify offers many apps to make your returns policy customer-friendly and simple to manage. Shopify extensions provide powerful tools for sending automated emails, tracking returns, refunding recurring orders, printing shipping labels, and more.

Let’s have a look at the 5 top-rated apps.

1. Returnly

Returnly provides ecommerce merchants with the tools to improve product returns management, while allowing customers to handle their product returns on their own, including printing shipping labels and checking return status both on mobile and desktop. The app provides shoppers with a fully customizable return center, and allows you to make better decisions with inbuilt analytics. You can choose from one of the app’s custom pricing plans based on the scale of your business. 

2. Clicksit Return Center

 

Clicksit allows retailers to compete with big companies by providing their customers with the perfect return experience using their trusted return providers. UK merchants of any size can offer CollectPlus return service. While your customers experience a seamless and safe return experience, you can see detailed return analytics. The plugin has an absolutely free pricing plan that will manage all aspects of customer returns.

3.Return Magic

Return Magic makes returns simple and convenient for both online sellers and their customers, providing seamless integration with your shop. The app’s refund screen is directly integrated with your website to issue a refund on credit cards, third-party gateways like PayPal, or  gift cards. You also get full visibility on items that are coming back and are ready for a refund, and the ability to collect information on return reasons. With the plugin’s flexible return rules, you can easily handle on-sale items, international customers, and damaged items.

4. Bold Returns Manager

 

With this plugin, customers can manage returns completely by themselves in a user-friendly and powerful interface embedded directly in your website. All customers can use the app because they don’t need to create a customer account. A customer only needs to know their order number and email to manage an order. The app enables you to create more than one return policy for different groups of products. Each return group can allow different types of returns, such as refunds, credits, replacements, or combinations. The app is mobile-friendly and fully customizable for the layout of your returns management system.

5. Returns Center by AfterShip

 

AfterShip Returns Center Lite is an absolutely free app that tracks and manages return requests in one place, processes customers’ returns online, and emails return shipment notifications to customers. The app works great both on desktop and mobile.

Having a solid, clear, and recognizable return process is the most important factor that customers consider in deciding whether to make purchases online. With the help of the Shopify plugins, you can gain control over your return management, and deliver a positive shopping experience for the customers in your store.