If you are an e-commerce retailer and run an online store, you probably know about the problem of returns. Even with the overall flexibility and agility that e-commerce has over regular brick and mortar stores, the entire return process is time-consuming, expensive, and can hurt bottom line profits.
It is not just vendors who struggle with returns. The problem also vexes your customers: 75% of users state that returns are the most difficult aspect of e-commerce, and 87% reported that a negative returns process will deter them from shopping at that retailer again.
Even though it causes friction for both you and your customer, returns still occur, and they happen often. Acquire Convert reported that close to ninety percent of consumers returned an item in the last three years. Whether we like it or not, returns are a standard expectation, and they are critical for positive customer experiences with your digital brand.
A seemingly simple return actually involves a complex series of moving parts:
1. Creating a formal return ticket request
2. Confirmation that the return is valid
3. Return Shipping label Development
4. Product Disposition
5. Fund Transfers
6. Return Ticket Confirmation
Each of these steps includes shipping partners, integrations with your e-commerce platform, inventory restocking, repayment software, and constant communication with the customer.
To make matters more difficult, many hosted e-commerce platforms provide close to zero back-end support for the returns process.
Return management software platforms help solve the complexity and expense of each return you receive. By automating the entire return process, you improve business efficiency and create a drastically improved sales cycle for high-priority clients.
Additionally, Return Management software presents organizational visibility, and as a Saas provider, analytics and data trends can help streamline your business. Workflows for both your store and any third-party services will increase, and that will help minimize lost packages, clean up inventory, and lower your overall return rate.
To help you decide on the best return management software, we reviewed several available services and ranked the top five offerings. Use this list to help determine the perfect return solution for your business!
Price: Information regarding how much the service costs and the format for fees.
Warranty: Many products include third-party warranty services that cover the cost of a refund for manufacturing issues. A high-level return management platform should seamlessly connect to these warranty services.
Refund Management: The automation and overall visibility of your returns are critical to gaining value from your return management platform. This covers return issues such as product disposition, the organization of return shipping, and automatic repayment connections.
Customer Experience: A simple and usable return portal is extremely important for the overall engagement of your customers. The return process for your users should never add extra frustration, so this is a key consideration when integrating a return management service.
Value Recovery: A return solution is only as good as the value and return on investment it can provide to you. Return Management systems need to streamline your return process, lower your return rate, and give value to you and your customer.
Price: Tiered Based on Volume
Refund Management: A+
Value Recovery: A
Returnly’s key focus is on a frictionless customer experience. Their instant refund software finances each exchange, making the payment structures rapid and automatic. Because of how well the platform organizes the return process and its focus on customization for the user, the overall interface and customer engagement of Returnly is useful for midsized companies. Returnly does integrate with third-party warranty services, and they also offer gift return capabilities. Customers of Returnly have stated that their fees are a bit convoluted and hard to understand, which could rack up a hefty monthly bill. Overall, they receive a B+ for the value offered.
For those who want automatic payments and fast digital returns, Returnly is your best bet.
Price: $10 Per Month
Refund Management: B+
Value Recovery: B-
The key benefit of Return Magic is its simplicity. Designed for lightweight users, it still streamlines any refunds and has a general appeal in regards to customer experience. It connects well with gift refunds and third-party logistics services that allow for easy product disposition. Unfortunately, Return Magic lacks the enterprise function needed for large businesses. The marketing tools and analytics you might need are not up-to-par. For those with smaller return needs, there is decent value recovery, but the issue of scale is Return Magic's biggest detractor.
Return Magic is considered the ideal software for Shopify users.
Price: $300 Per Month
Refund Management: A+
Value Recovery: A+
The ideal aspects of Return Logic are its excellent integrations along with its advanced reporting and analytics. Return Logic is all about minimizing the business cost for all post fulfillment, and it does that with a platform designed to optimize operations. Labelled as “Hassle-Free Returns”, the system fits into your existing workflows and automates the entire return process. High-level visibility and customization are additional benefits that can free time for your teams. It does come with an expensive price point, but the overall value recovery makes this a great choice.
For data driven insights and strong technical customization, select Return Logic.
Price: Tiered pricing-standard of $199/month
Refund Management: B+
Value Recovery: B
Aftership is built on convenience, simplicity, and third-party integrations. It’s branded portal is easy to use and well-designed, which for many people with limited returns will find exceeds their needs. It connects with all the major e-commerce platform hubs, which also helps increase business efficiency. Unfortunately, customer support is lacking, so do not count on excellent warranty coverage. Plus, while the user interface is smart and intuitive, customer reviews often make note about server downtimes, issues with tracking codes, and problems connecting with courier slugs. For those who want immediate access to a top-level user platform for minimal returns and handy shipping labels, Aftership is great, but for those who want extended technical connections and support, the value capture is not present.
For those who want simplicity in all aspect, select Aftership Returns Center’
Price: $99 Per Month
Refund Management: B+
Value Recovery: B+
Loop Returns is best known for its smooth user function and ideal returns portal. Customer experience is a premium offer here. They have a built-in upselling function that offers suggestions to customers of other products they might like to purchase with their refund. Return Loop has excellent refund visibility and automation for you as a back end user, but user's have reported that the accounting function is very limited, a time-consuming drawback that hurts the service's value recovery. Loop Returns does not support third-party warranty services.
For those who want advanced reengagement and a top-level portal design, Loop select Loop Returns
Price: $350 Per Month
Refund Management: A
Value Recovery: A
Happy Returns started as a reverse logistics operation, so they have several physical locations that retailers and consumers can use for simple returns. With over 700 locations, they can achieve low shipping rates that are sure to please consumers. Happy Returns has built an additional user interface to help with the digital return process. The brand and shipping portal is simple, but lacks the high-level features of a more established platform. Still, customers report how the simplicity lends itself to usability, for both clients making returns and for back end teams. Customization options are not available, but most people are happy with Happy Returns because it streamlines the logistics portion of the return without any complex digital integrations.
For those who want physical drop locations, Happy Returns will be ideal.
When it comes to lowering your return rate, it can be tricky to find the exact right return management solution for you. Make sure you keep these elements in mind when choosing the right application:
1. Value Customer Experience: Does the return management system help your customers? Is the return portal simple and effective? Does it match your return policy?
2. Return Rate and Value: Make sure the return management platform you select is effective at lowering your return rate. Automate manual processes, and make sure that all warranties and gift refunds are easy to implement
3. Improve Business Operations: Inventory management should increase in organization and speed with a new return management platform. Additionally, overall visibility and business workflow should increase dramatically. Bonus points if the software includes analytics and data trends to help optimize efficiency.
If you need more details about Return Management Services, Return Bear presents a wide variety of benefits that other services do not have. Not only do we offer a fast and reliable software platform that can lower your return rate and improve your customer's sales journey, but we have additional advantages such as in-person return kiosks. These physical drop-off points are located across Canada, and can make a huge difference in shipping costs, product safety, and return speed. Our Canadian logistics network gives you preferred shipping rates, helping reduce the costs of all shipments made in Canada. Plus, we can implement international returns, and we have physical drop-off locations that improve the returns process for you and your customers. Our software integrates with your e-commerce platforms, like Magento or Shopfiy, for easy setup. We can help with any native exchanges you may have, and our platform will continue to improve your post-fulfilment efficiency.
Contact us here for more information on how to select the right Return Management Service.
Returns hurt your bottom line. But with a few effective product return practices, you can limit the number of return requests you receive and boost the health (and profits!) of your store.
Us Canadians are known as kind and helpful folk, so we expect the same kindness from the brands we engage in, especially when it comes to returns.