The Best Return Management Software

The Best Return Management Software
Tobias Buxhoidt
Tobias Buxhoidt
Published on: May 6, 2023
Updated: May 25, 2023

Here’s the hard truth: ecommerce returns cost big money.

While ecommerce return rates decreased from the frenzy during the earlier days of the pandemic in 2021 (clocking in at 16.5% in 2022, down from 20.8%), it was projected to cost retailers approximately $212 billion.

Pesky as they may be, completely eliminating online returns—including the unfortunate fraudulent ones—is impossible. There will always be valid reasons that customers want to return products, and there will always be foul players running around.

Enter returns management software.

What is return management software (RMS) and what does it do?

Return management software (RMS) is a tool that facilitates the returns process, from initiating a return to issuing refunds. It typically includes features such as creating return labels, tracking returns, processing refunds, and analyzing returns data. RMS helps businesses manage the returns process efficiently, saving time and costs while improving customer satisfaction.

Why should you use an RMS? 

Providing a stellar returns management experience for your consumers may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Partnering with a post-purchase experience provider allows you to optimize the user experience while simultaneously reducing costs. 

With personalized, 100% branded touch points through post-purchase communications, brands can keep customers in the loop throughout the entire delivery and returns process. Plus, a robust RMS will provide data-driven insights by analyzing your returns data, allowing you to take actionable decisions to keep improving your offerings. 

By offering a clear returns policy and a seamless post-purchase experience to boot, the result is simple: converted, loyal customers that are in it for the long haul. Every brand’s dream, right?

If you’re ready to begin turning potential customers into brand evangelists, you’ll need to start by choosing the right ecommerce returns management software for your company. But with several platforms out there, including Malomo, AfterShip, and Narvar, how do you choose the one that’s best for you?

In this guide, we’re going to break down the key features you need to be on the lookout for when trying to find the right ecommerce returns solution for your business.

At a glance: features to look for in returns management services and software

Before diving into the nitty gritty of all things RMS, here’s an overview of the key capabilities of a solid returns management services provider.

Feature / capability


Integration with key business tools

Your RMS must seamlessly connect with software like your ecommerce platform, order management system, and shipping carriers  

White labeling and hosting capabilities

These features enable customization and seamless integration, enhancing brand image and customer experience for ecommerce returns management

Flexible rules and multi-channel returns 

The flexibility of rules and multi-channel returns provides the opportunity to process returns more efficiently and enables customers to use their preferred return methods

Reporting and analytics

Robust RMS reporting enable data-driven decision-making so you can spot trends and areas for improvement

1. Full integration with your ecommerce platform and shipping carriers

The best RMS is one that lets your brand get up and running in minimal time, as opposed to requiring a radical shift from your current workflow. When looking for an ecommerce returns solution, you should look for a provider that can integrate directly into your ecommerce platform. But why?

Your organization already has a proven workflow for tools like CMSs, customer service platforms, and payment systems. If you opt for a returns management solution that can’t integrate with your current ERP, it means one or the other has to go. Either way, it's a lose-lose situation. 

Instead, opt for a headless post-purchase experience provider that’ll allow you to easily integrate your systems and workflow into their RMS. With that kind of flexibility, it’s easy to not only get set up but also integrate other popular carriers if you scale your business down the road.

While we’re on the topic of integrations, make sure your ecommerce returns solution integrates with all major shipping carriers, including international ones like DPD or PostNL (if you have a more global presence).

It’s also worth making sure that the RMS works with international carriers that can handle customs, especially with the rise in cross-border transactions. That way, you’ll streamline the overall shipping process for both your organization and customers.

2. White-labeled and embedded post-purchase communication and returns portal

Another key factor you should be on the lookout for is finding product returns management software that’s 100% white-labeled.

That means that any post-purchase communications will look like it comes directly from you. If a customer gets an email notifying them about the status of their return, a 100% white-labeled RMS would make sure the email address would come from your domain, instead of theirs.

white labeled return management software

A returns management solution should also provide an embedded, on-brand returns portal. Even though it’ll be powered by the RMS, the portal should be designed in line with your brand identity, creating another invaluable touch point between you and your consumers. This could also be a great opportunity to drive more sales, for example, by including links to recommended products customers might be interested in, based on their shopping history.

A dedicated returns portal can help increase customer retention and loyalty, while also being a single source of truth.

3. Flexible rules and multi-channel support

All are not equal in returns and deliveries. Instead of opting for a “one-size-fits-all” approach, you should partner with an ecommerce returns solution that provides granular options and flexible rules. That way, you can create a more customized returns experience in the reverse logistics experience. 

For example, you could automatically offer an extended return period if certain conditions were met (like if the customer uses self-service return), or reject items that fall out of your policy from being returned—reducing your environmental impact and saving your customers’ valuable time.

Plus, your future RMS should provide omnichannel returns support, so no matter what platform your brand is selling products on, they’ll be able to take care of your customers’ returns experience.

4. Data-driven insights

Elevating your customers’ post-purchase experience shouldn’t be a shot in the dark. That’s why you need an enterprise returns solution that provides actionable insights your organization can implement to reduce your returns rate and improve your top-line revenue. 

A robust RMS should have a comprehensive framework in place to collect and extract data. More importantly: it should be able to process all that data and deliver personalized and relevant data insights that you can start implementing, ideally enriched with external sources like traffic updates for the most meaningful insights.

5. Reliable and speedy customer support

It’s important to partner with a return management software provider that has accessible customer support. Even if everything is running smoothly, you may want to scale up your offerings, use more complex integrations, or get assistance with analyzing your returns data. 

Whatever you need, your RMS provider should be available to provide support rapidly. Find a provider with quick response times, is available in multiple time zones, provides multiple ways to be contacted, and also offers detailed self-service resources, like general documentation or a developer toolkit.

Wrapping up: the best ecommerce returns management software

In a sea of product returns management solutions out there, parcelLab shines as the premier global enterprise post-purchase software provider out there. We handle the post-purchase experience across 175 countries for over 700 brands--and we’re trusted for good reason. 

We track over 350 shipping carriers and provide integrations for all major carriers—with onboarding for most new carriers in less than four weeks. All post-purchase communications (like our branded tracking pages) are 100% white-labeled and on-brand, for a delightful post-purchase consumer experience.

parcelLab also offers multi-channel support and flexible rules (like customized alert flows with 50+ email triggers). And with powerful data intelligence and a dedicated customer support team, you’ll never be lost on your journey to deliver an unmatched ecommerce customer experience. 

Ready to learn more? Discover how you can elevate the returns experience for your consumers by booking a demo today.

Read all of the Returns Management Playbook Chapters:

  1. Chapter 1 - What is Returns Management?

  2. Chapter 2 - Returns Management: Challenges and Best Practices

  3. Chapter 3 - How to Reduce Your Return Rate: 11 Tips For Fewer Returns

  4. Chapter 4 - What is Self-Service Return?

  5. Chapter 5 - Guide to Retail Returns Management

  6. Chapter 6 - The Best Return Management Software 👈 you are here

  7. Chapter 7 - Understanding B2C Europe Returns 👉 read next chapter

  8. Chapter 8 - The Complete Guide to Retail Returns Marketing


Most ecommerce companies use an RMS to manage customer expectations and gain control of the end-to-end customer journey. We work with some of the world’s leading brands, including H&M, Chico's and Yeti. See some of our featured success stories here.

By partnering with a post-purchase software provider, companies can easily manage every aspect of the customer journey. With our Operations Experience Management platform, you’ll be able to track every aspect of your logistics performance and iteratively improve your offerings.

Written by

Tobias Buxhoidt

Tobias, the CEO of parcelLab, brings a unique blend of experience and passion to the logistics and supply chain industry. Having grown up in a family logistics business, Tobias developed an acute understanding of the industry's shortcomings, which led him to recognize the opportunity to bring a new perspective to the sector. With a keen eye for customer experience, Tobias saw an opportunity to transform the traditional focus on cost and speed into one of engagement, creating a new paradigm for operational processes and data.

Through his work with parcelLab, Tobias has become a pioneer in the industry, spearheading the company's mission to bring brands and people closer together by breathing new life into data complexity. Over the past seven years, Tobias has helped define parcelLab as the global Post Purchase Experience leader, working tirelessly to build a team of experts who share his vision for the future of logistics.

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