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Glossary

What are Omnichannel Returns?

Published on: August 18, 2023

Updated: February 17, 2024

Omnichannel returns enable retail customers to choose how they want to return their in-store, online, or mobile purchases. All are not equal in returns and deliveries. Instead of opting for a “one-size-fits-all” approach, retailers should partner with an ecommerce returns management solution that provides granular options and flexible rules. That way, retailers can create a more customized returns experience that provides shoppers with the opportunity to choose how they want to make a return.

What are the different types of omnichannel returns?

Returns QR Code - different types of omnichannel returns

There are four different types of return options that retailers commonly leverage. These include:

  • Pre-printed return labels can be added directly into packages as they are shipped out so the customer has the option to return their order if need be.
  • Self-service returns provide the customer with an interactive experience through an online portal and allow them to choose how they want to return their order. This is becoming popular among retailers because it is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than pre-printing labels. It also allows the customer to provide reasoning as to why they are returning their order and the retailer can leverage the data to make changes to their products.
  • In-store returns whether it is at the retailer’s own brick-and-mortar store or at a drop-off spot within a different store. For example, Amazon allows customers to drop off their returns at Kohls or Whole Foods.
  • Returns made via customer service calls, emails, or chat bot which can allow for an email-generated return label that can be printed or customers can leverage a QR code to complete the return.

How can retailers implement omnichannel returns?

Returns portal - how retailers can implement omnichannel returns

Retailers can implement omnichannel returns through a returns management software, like parcelLab. Returns management software enables retailers to streamline the returns process to help create a better customer experience. Brands should look for software that has the flexibility to adapt to their specific needs. The key capabilities that brands should look for when evaluating software providers are:

  • The ability to create custom reasons or enable extended returns reasons for warranty or repair.
  • Multichannel returns communications with shipping, processing, and refund notifications.
  • Data security and privacy functionality that only stores data for 90 days and that is SOC 2 Type 1, HIPAA, and ePrivacy certified.
  • Options to create different types of labels like QR codes or printable labels.
  • Instant first-scan refunds, gift cards, or product exchanges via the digital returns platform.
  • Options to add photos, comments, second-hand owner details, or claims information on purchases through third-party providers for warranty and claims handling.
  • Product recommendations that help customers who are making a return choose different sizes or replacement products based on the reason they are returning the item.
  • Options to create unique experiences in your returns management portal for different customer segments.
  • The ability to support the customs process and attach order confirmations, invoices, customs slips, and return labels.
  • Customer service integrations that provide agents with a single view of order details, shipping status, communications, and full buying history.
  • Recommendations on sizes or replacement products based on return reasons.

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retain Retain

Turn potential customer dissatisfaction into an opportunity for revenue retention by digitizing your returns process.

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