Returns can be viewed as a cumbersome process, and in a perfect scenario, both customers and merchants would never have to deal with them. Due to the absence of physical shopping experiences in eCommerce, returns are a common occurrence. With the proliferation of online shopping, customers anticipate easy-to-use return labels. Additionally, these labels should be provided at little or no cost.

Offering a seamless return process for customers can distinguish a business as a leading enterprise and lead to positive traction in the marketplace. On the other hand, handling returns poorly can have a drastic impact on your bottom line in the long run as negative experiences and reviews spread.

Printing return labels can be accomplished through multiple methods, each with varying degrees of complexity and cost. This article will delve into the essential elements of return label printing, including the different categories of returns, and the procedures for printing return labels for different carriers. Additionally, we’ll examine how ShipKey can streamline the return shipping process.

Return Labels Can Be Included With an Outgoing Order

When a label is paid for by the sender during the creation process, it is referred to as a pay-upon-creation return label. This type of label is frequently employed by carriers that require payment at the time of label creation, rather than post-billing. As such, services like USPS or those offered by ShipKey often utilize pay-upon-creation labels.

Customers Can Print Return Labels or Merchants Can Send Return Labels

The process by which merchants furnish return labels to their customers lacks uniformity, as each party may have its own distinct preferences. At times, merchants may opt to supply their customers with return labels. After creating the customer’s return label, it can be sent via email for them to print out and utilize at their convenience. The package can then be dropped off at a carrier facility.

In other cases, customers may be required to generate their own return labels. This is usually the case when a customer is returning a partial order since the weight of the return shipment is lighter than the outbound. In these instances, merchants may reimburse the cost of the label or provide additional store credit when issuing a refund.

Of course, there are also instances where a return label may not be offered unless the customer goes out of their way to request one from the merchant. Or, a return label may not be provided at all and the customer may be paying for the return shipment out of pocket. It can almost be guaranteed that they won’t be returning anytime soon if this happens.

This typically leads to poor customer service experiences and retention. Industry research shows that a large number of customers will examine a merchant’s return policy before placing their order. Being upfront and clear about return policies can go a long way in building trust with your customers.

Offer Free Shipping for Returns

In the world of online shopping, it has become the norm for customers to anticipate free return shipping. While providing both free outbound shipping and returns can be a costly endeavor, it is often the deciding factor for many consumers.

Offering free return shipping while maintaining profitability necessitates seeking out the most cost-effective shipping methods.

How to Print Return Labels With Various Platforms

ShipKey enables you to generate all your returns, regardless of where you conduct your sales. In the event that you need to print a return label for your storefront or marketplace, the following are the procedures for printing return labels on several of the most prevalent eCommerce platforms.

  • Amazon Return Labels: Customers must initiate returns by logging into their customer portal.
  • Ebay Return Labels: Ebay provides options for handling returns. To initiate the returns process, merchants can log into their portal.
  • Etsy Return Labels: To begin the returns process for Etsy orders, follow the steps outlined in their article “How to Purchase a Return Shipping Label,” or create a return label through your shipping application (such as ShipKey).
  • Wix Return Labels: To authorize a refund through Wix, use your Wix dashboard. Merchants will need to generate their own return label through their chosen shipping program, such as ShipKey.
  • Big Cartel Return Labels: Merchants can authorize refunds through their store portal and create return labels through their shipping platform. For help creating a shipping and return policy, Big Cartel offers a helpful guide. Comprehensive shipping software like ShipKey can provide merchants with the necessary outbound and return shipping services to help sell more quickly.
  • Shopify Return Labels: Shopify offers its merchants efficient ways to authorize returns, issue refunds, and assist customers with returns. This can be accomplished through your Shopify Admin Dashboard.
  • WooCommerce Return Labels: While WooCommerce offers ways to provide refunds, return labels must be created through the shipping platform used (such as ShipKey).
  • BigCommerce Return Labels: BigCommerce allows merchants to generate return labels through their store portal, as well as offer customers a means of requesting a return. Additionally, return labels can be generated through their shipping partners, such as ShipKey.

ShipKey Takes the Headache Out of Returns

As noted above, it’s vital to understand that outbound and return shipments may require distinct services, which could necessitate using a separate carrier for the return shipment. This is where a multi-carrier shipping platform like ShipKey can be beneficial. It allows you to save money and print labels more efficiently, whether it’s for returns, outbound shipments, or order fulfillment.

ShipKey Can Help Cut Costs on Return Labels and Outbound Shipments

To lower the cost of return shipping, the easiest approach is to reduce the expense of shipping labels. Paying standard post office rates or requiring customers to print their labels can be inconvenient and lead to unhappy customers. ShipKey can help by offering shipping discounts for a range of carriers, including USPS, UPS, and DHL Express, to name a few.

Gain Efficiency With ShipKey and Deliver Better Customer Experiences

Shopping online is at times, a double-edged sword. Most of us have probably ordered a piece of clothing online, only to have it arrive, tear open the package, and try it on after days of anticipation, just to be let down by the disappointing fit and feel of the garment. It was easy to shop online on your lunch break and order that pair of pants that were on sale, after all, the item description said it was the same waist size as your favorite jeans, but as it turns out the two different manufacturers must be using two different rulers.

And so we call customer support, wait on hold for 15 minutes, just to finally talk to someone and get a return label sent to our email. After printing it off, we then have to wait in line at the post office since the label wasn’t for a drop-off location.

It’s finally sent, and we watch our credit card statement until 11 days later when a refund is finally processed.

We’ve likely all had customer service issues around shipping, especially in the last few years. However, with ShipKey, these poor experiences can stay in the past where they belong.

Streamlining your shipping and return labels with ShipKey can offer a distinct advantage for businesses, not only in efficiency gained by better processes and fulfillment but also in the ease of processing customer returns. This is especially important in a marketplace where consumers are becoming increasingly price-conscious and the memory of shipping bottlenecks from the past few years still lingers in our minds.

Reach out to our team today for a free demo, and give your customers and your business the chance to thrive with ShipKey.

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