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Returns happen all the time. Sometimes an item isn’t quite what the customer expected, and other times the pair of jeans doesn’t quite fit. There might be times when the wrong item turns up, or gets damaged during transit.

And sometimes, people simply change their minds.

Whatever the reason might be for a customer making a return, they’ll need a return label in order to have a smooth returns experience with you.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to create a return label, why you should use one, and how to make generating return labels less time consuming.

What is a return label?

A return label is a sticker that is placed on or inside a parcel, containing a return address, barcode, and other necessary information to ensure that the parcel is returned to the right place. Return labels are used by online sellers to allow for a smooth, efficient returns process, which in turn bolsters customer retention and loyalty.

How to create a return label

Generating a return label is simple. Most webshops have in-built functionality allowing you to design and print a return label for your customers.

This includes adding a return address to direct parcels towards your premises or warehouse. You can also pre-pay the return label, which increases sales as customers will feel reassured that they can make a risk-free purchase.

Alternatively, you can create an email template that can be sent to customers once they’ve notified you they’d like to make a return. You can include a shipping label inside the email, so they can print it off at home.

This is a good idea if you want to validite returns before they’re authorised, or if you have a stricter returns policy.

Why should you use a return label?

With the rise of eCommerce, customers have come to expect a generous returns policy from the businesses they buy from.

While you may not wish to deal with the hassle and cost of processing a return, allowing customers to return a product is essential if you want to stay competitive in today’s online marketplace.

While customers can produce return labels themselves via their chosen courier, we believe it’s better to include a return label with every order, rather than asking your customers to purchase one online. Here’s why:

Makes your customers happier

Customers will appreciate you a whole lot more if you go to the effort of including a return label. It saves them the time and hassle of sourcing one themselves, and shows that you care about the customer experience.

Increases the chance of a future purchase

Having a cumbersome returns process can dissuade customers from buying from you again in the future. You want them to feel as though they have nothing to lose and nothing to risk by buying from you. This is hard to do if they dread the possibility of needing to make a return.

It’s safer for both parties

By providing your own shipping label, you can ensure the details on the label are correct and that the proper process is followed. There are going to be headaches on both sides if the customer prints off the wrong information on the label. Generating your own label puts things entirely in your control.

How to generate return labels automatically

Here at James and James, we specialise in making the returns process as smooth as possible, both for you and your customers.

Step one: choose label

Through our cloud-based dashboard, you can select whether or not you want your customers to receive a return label, and if so, whether you want to include a pre-paid label or ask your customers to pay.

Step two: customer receives tracking information

When a customer makes an order, they’ll be emailed confirmation and a live-tracking link. When a customer clicks the link, they’ll be able to track their order in real-time, from the moment the order’s being picked right up to the moment it lands on their doorstep.

It’s a custom-built tracking dashboard built by us, called ViewPort.

Step three: Customer prints label through ViewPort

Once an order has been delivered, and you’ve enabled returns, a customer can go to ViewPort and print a return label. You’ll never need to worry about return labels ever again!

We won’t just look after labels either, we’ll take care of the whole returns management process. Your customers will send their return back to one of our fulfilment centres, where we’ll check the condition of the item and the validity of the return. From there, we’ll put the item back on the shelf, ready to be re-sold.

Learn more about James and James

Returns management is just one aspect of James and James’ fulfilment service. We’re a leading 3PL that takes care of storage, picking, packing, and shipping. Powered by custom-built technology, our fulfilment service is super-efficient and always improving.

We have tools and in-house fulfilment specialists that are trained to help you grow your business. With an international network of fulfilment centres, we’re perfectly positioned to help your eCommerce store Scale Up smoothly and quickly.

To learn how we can help you streamline your fulfilment process (and save hours of time every day), get in touch on 0330 057 2684 or book a no-obligation consultation here.

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