Managing returns is one of the most complex challenges in ecommerce.
And as a result, a variety of returns software options have entered the market to improve the returns process and alleviate some of the pains that retailers and their customers feel from returns.
Once you've decided that returns software is right for your business, you might notice that many of the available options can be viewed as either post-purchase or operational returns software.
But which is right for your business?
Post-Purchase vs Operational Returns Software
Many return software options, especially the more sophisticated return solutions, either focus on post-purchase or operations.
This is largely a matter of preference and priorities of your brand. Chances are good that either will meet your fundamental needs for returns. But, they may have differing impacts on your business as a whole.
Operational Returns Software
Operational returns software seeks to optimize the returns process: improve operational efficiency, minimize costs, and leverage analytics to reduce your return rate.
ReturnLogic and Happy Returns are great examples of operationally focused return solutions.
The truth is, effective operations are the foundation of the customer experience. It's difficult to impress customers if promises or expectations aren't met.
For example, after partnering with ReturnLogic, the Squid Socks team was able to save hours per week and nearly eliminate customer complaints.
ReturnLogic designs smarter returns automation, that enables you to decide which returns are automatically processed, along with when they are processed. Your business is unique, and so is your returns process.
Post-Purchase Returns Software
Post-purchase returns software is primarily focused on the customer experience. These solutions place greater emphasis on the returns portal and its functionalities, and less on the backend operations of returns.
Post-purchase return solutions include Loop and Returnly.
These software options can provide quite a smooth experience for customers; however, they lack some of the operational capabilities in terms of operational efficiency, visibility, and financial implications.
And as a result, post-purchase returns software can create some rather serious headaches for retailers. Some solutions provide ample automation, but don't allow you to control which returns will be automatically processed or when they will be processed.
This gives you little visibility and control over your returns process, and can even expose your business to returns fraud.
In addition, the accounting records of one solution often do not match what is reported by the retailer in Shopify. So, many brands are forced to spend hours reconciling their accounting data, or even hire a professional accountant.
Stay on Top of your Returns
Returns create a variety of headaches and challenges for ecommerce brands, as well as their customers. Every returns software option enhances the returns process in some way, but they might take a very different approach.
Operational returns software strives solve the underlying challenges of returns, and create a smooth customer experience on top.
Post-purchase returns software seeks primarily to enhance the customer experience in returns, with less attention on visibility, process efficiency, and financial implications.
Either approach will alleviate many of the pains of ecommerce returns, so you should ultimately consider your needs and priorities as a business when looking for smarter returns management.