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Perfecting a Branded Returns Portal

Matt Blevins
Updated 01/06/21 5:16 PM

Looking for a Branded Returns Portal for your Ecommerce Store?

Even as online retail has experienced staggering growth, there is one aspect ecommerce that has largely not kept up. And that's returns.

Without an automated returns portal, customers are forced to reach to the company and wait in hopes of a response. Customer service teams need to send 2 to 4 emails just to arrange a single return.

The process is costly, inefficient, and full of friction.

Ecommerce retailers implement branded return portals to enable customers to start their own returns. A returns portal dramatically reduces the time and effort spent on returns, and will result in a better experience for your customers.

In that sense, a returns portal is the first step to a better returns process.

What is a Returns Portal?

Simply put, a returns portal is a system that allows customers to start returns. Almost any returns software will include a portal, whether it be a more basic returns app or a fully functional returns solution like ReturnLogic.

perfecting-a-branded-returns-portal-return-portal

The portal collects relevant information from the customer, confirms the purchase record, and enforces the retailer's return policy. If shipping is specified, the returns portal generates a shipping label.

To a customer, the returns portal is where the return takes place. But as we know, there is also the backend operational side of returns. This is where powerful automation meets in-depth visibility.

How to Make a Better Returns Portal

Ecommerce return rates typically fall between 10% and 20%, depending on the product category. This means that a sizable portion of your customers go through your returns portal, so make the experience count.

Placement of the Returns Portal

The first step to a better returns portal actually has nothing to do with the portal itself; it's all about placement.

Your returns page should be easily accessible from the footer of your website. Try not to hide it in a section such as “Contact Us" or “FAQ."

perfecting-a-branded-returns-portal-website-footer

The goal is to minimize the number of clicks required to start a return. As many as 67% of shoppers visit a site's returns page before purchasing. So if your returns page is difficult to find, you might deter potential customers.

Branding the Returns Experience

Next is the branding of the returns portal, which spans from the return policy through the portal itself.

Most people wouldn't consider returns to be a branding opportunity. But they absolutely are, it just needs to be done properly. If you really want to see how customer-obsessed a brand is, check out their returns process.

perfecting-a-branded-returns-portal-branding

There shouldn't be a stark contrast between your returns portal and the rest of your website. The portal should blend right in, and be a natural extension of the customer journey.

An Automated Returns Portal

Last is automation within the returns portal. 

In the most basic case, a returns portal is a form that customers fill out when beginning a return. But a more sophisticated returns portal can enforce complex logic from your return policy.

perfecting-a-branded-returns-portal-automation

No one likes to give the customer bad news. It's a lot better for customers to be rejected by an automated portal than by a customer service representative. 

An automated returns portal will save time for your team, and ensure a more smooth experience for customers. For example, tasks that used to take 10 minutes for the Jofit team now take less than a minute.

Take Control of your Returns

No one likes returns - not retailers and definitely not customers.

A branded portal for returns is just the first step in creating a better returns experience, that is more efficient and reliable for your team.

With a great returns portal, you're on your way to smarter returns management.

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