3 min

How Numi cut costs on Canadian returns with ReturnBear

How Numi saved over 60% of their comparable Canadian shipping costs with consolidated return shipping

March 26, 2024
Case Study
By Parnika Sharma

Founded in 2013, Numi is a women’s apparel brand based in Toronto. The company specializes in consciously-created, elevated basics (like their signature undershirts), all made with high-performance and ethically-sourced fabrics.

Before working with ReturnBear, Numi’s customer service team had to manually approve each and every product return – nearly 25% of their day was dedicated to managing the process across multiple spreadsheets!

Key Challenge

Historically, all returns were handled by the customer service team and manually approved. Return requests were made via email, after which a Numi customer service representative would look up the order in Shopify to ensure its eligibility for a return. Once confirmed, they would respond to the customer asking for photos of the item(s), before then approving or rejecting the return. If approved, Numi would email the customer once again with mailing instructions for how to send the return back to Numi.

The customer would then print the provided label and bring their return to Canada Post, where they would have to pay for the return shipping. On Numi’s side, the brand had to typically wait 10+ days for the item to be received and reviewed at their warehouse. Once confirmed as an acceptable return, Numi would then disburse the refund, sometimes as long as 25 days after the return was first mailed out by the customer.

The primary challenges with this system were

  • Escalating customer support costs - Numi recognized that the time spent and manual effort of returns was an operational inefficiency
  • Poor customer experience - Customers were often curious about why they needed to email back and forth so much just to make a return. It was time-consuming, complicated and frustrating.
  • Lack of scalability  - As the brand grew, Numi’s customer support team was unequipped to manually handle the increasing volume of returns, and recognized the need for a simplified solution.
  • Long refund times - Some Refunds took more than 25 days to process!

Working with ReturnBear

As a Canadian brand growing internationally, Numi was excited to work with ReturnBear for a return solution that included package-free label-free drop-offs across Canada and return verification for faster refunds. Numi liked having a local partner with whom they could work closely in order to serve their growing US and Canadian customer base by providing a user-friendly, automated return experience. ReturnBear’s hands-on approach to support and customer service meant Numi had a true extension of their team, so that they could operate more efficiently as they continued to grow.

"Your return process was quick and easy and I truly appreciate that. Purchasing clothing from the internet is not always a nice process." - Numi Customer

Solution Specifics

1. Reduced Customer Support Effort

For two years since starting with ReturnBear, Numi has not had to manage a manual return process. Customer return requests are all managed through ReturnBear’s portal, letting the brand completely automate their return policy and process while incentivizing exchanges and store credit. The Numi team now spends less time managing returns, and more time growing their brand.

2. Customer Convenience with Return Drop-offs

We know that returns made at drop-off locations are more convenient for customers, with nearly 40% of surveyed shoppers finding drop-off returns at a third-party location as their most appealing return option. Working with ReturnBear, Numi sees up to 60% of their Canadian returns come in via ReturnBear’s drop-off points. Drop-off is increasingly adopted by ReturnBear clients’ customers as a more convenient and accessible way of making their returns. By leveraging instant return verification at ReturnBear dropoff points and processing hubs, Numi has been able to reduce the time it takes for a return to be processed and for customers to receive refunds.

3. Revenue Retention

Using ReturnBear, Numi sees a 33% revenue retention rate, with customers opting for item exchanges or incentivized store credit to complete new purchases.

4. Savings Via Consolidated Shipping

Numi uses ReturnBear drop-off locations to accept customer returns that are then processed, refolded, repacked and consolidated before being batch-shipped to Numi’s warehouse. With consolidated batch-shipping through ReturnBear, Numi is seeing 67% savings in comparable reverse logistics costs.

5. Increased Customer Satisfaction

Numi’s customers in Canada have been quick to take advantage of ReturnBear’s package-free, label-free returns coast to coast. They love the local convenience and speed of verification, and are more likely to shop with the brand again!

"This is my second time using ReturnBear for Numi and I honestly LOVE this. Super convenient with not needing to print a return label, easily accessible at Eaton Centre, and the staff is always super friendly. This was a great move on Numi’s end." - Numi Customer


In the two years of working with ReturnBear to date, Numi saw an over 60% decrease in Canadian return costs, with nearly half of all returns dropped off at ReturnBear drop-off points.

Interested in learning more about how ReturnBear can help your brand save on Canadian returns like Numi? Chat with us today!

About ReturnBear

ReturnBear’s end-to-end return logistics solution gives eCommerce businesses access to a network of Canadian drop off locations and an automated RMA platform that lets you recover inventory and issue refunds faster. Better returns for you and your customers.

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