How to Process Shopify Returns & Refunds?

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How to processs Shopify returns and refunds

Last Updated: July 2024

If you are running an eCommerce store, then you need returns Shopify features to allow your customers to return orders. Because customers’ orders don’t always work out the first time.

There could be many reasons for that. The item could be small or large or defective or looks different from the way it was advertised. Whatever the reason it is important to have a return policy that lets your customers send unwanted products for a refund or exchange.

Now, let’s see how you can manage the Shopify return process.


How to Process Returns on Shopify

You can create and manage returns within Shopify itself. Plus, 

  • Send shipping instructions, 
  • Return labels,
  • Track returned orders, 
  • Restock the goods, and 
  • View order transaction history.

All this is fine, but how to refund on Shopify? Well, you can perform Shopify refunds and all the above-mentioned operations, by following the steps on the Shopify documentation.

Now that you know about the required Shopify returns features, let me give you an overview of how the return process works.

Overview of The Return Process

Usually, customer requests a return either by phone, email, or live chat. Then, you need to identify the item they want to return and verify its eligibility. Then through Orders, you accept the return.

For a refund, decide whether or not to include the shipping cost. With available Shopify options, refund the amount by giving a gift card or via the original payment method.

Another way is to exchange the item. For this, your customer can make the request or the  support team can give some recommendations. 

At last, you need to issue the return label and update your inventory management system of the return.

Return process

While Shopify offers basic functionalities, it requires a lot of manual work. On top of that, the features are not enough to scale up your business

Also, read – Most common reasons for returns


Why Returns Shopify Features Are Not Enough?

To be fair, Shopify processes returns without any need to integrate with other applications. However, it is mostly manual so it will be time-consuming for your customer support team.

Because your team needs to do the following manually.

  • Go through the list of items, 
  • Review the return requests, 
  • Interact with customers, 
  • Provide necessary instructions, 
  • Generate return labels, 
  • And so on. 

All this slow processing could make your customer feel frustrated. Also, it takes away the time that could be spent on high-priority tasks.

Apart from depleting your support team’s productivity, they are more reasons to not use the manual returns in Shopify.

More Reasons

  • All products are not the same. So, you need different return policies and procedures for different categories. Unfortunately, Shopify allows only one approach.
  • Daily repeating of the same tasks can lead to human errors and reduces productivity.
  • Your team has to use several apps, spreadsheets, and other tools to keep track of the returns.
  • Using these manually created error-prone sheets can result in slow and inaccurate processing of returns.
  • Moreover, it will be difficult to detect returns fraud.
Employee's day is wasted on manual digital administrative processes
Source –

Therefore to improve your customer experience, you need to automate the returns process. It will prevent all the mentioned mistakes and takes care of the common return process so your team can focus on special cases.


Automating Returns in Shopify

Note that to achieve automation, you need to integrate your store with other applications or software.

Now, if you have decided to automate your return process, then you need to know that there are two options.

1) Post-Purchase Returns

The focus here is on the customer experience. That means, these apps concentrate on the return portal and not on the back-end operations of the return process. 

Loop returns Shopify app is one of the examples of post-purchase returns software.

Usually, they deliver a smooth experience for customers but they lack the capabilities to perform deeper-level operations that improve the efficiency of your return management.

But don’t get discouraged. Along with the features to please your customers on their end, some of the software also offer help in generating return labels or return shipping logistics.

2) Operational Returns

On the other hand, operational returns apps are designed to take care of both returns operations and customers’ experience. That means they improve your processes involving reverse logistics or any back-end operations while making everything simple for your buyers.

When you think about the front-end and back-end of websites,

  • Front-end covers the elements that user interacts with when they are on your website.
  • Whereas the back-end focuses on the side of the website that users cannot see or interact with. However, it contains the main operations that make the entire website work.

Ideally, you should go for the software or application that offers core operations as they make up your return management system. One such software is Saufter.


Meet Saufter, The Best Automated Returns Management Software!


Saufter is an automated return management software that also offers order management and customer support services. Learn more about its features below.


  • Automated Returns/ Exchanges – Your customers can choose the items to return or exchange through the in-built portal. Based on your policies, Saufter automatically processes the returns.
  • Return Labels – Both your support team and buyers can download the return labels with only one click.
  • Anti-refund Strategies – Saufter’s AI algorithm understands the needs of your customers which you can use to reduce returns.
  • 24/7 Order Monitoring – It tracks your orders and detects if there are any problems such as delays so you can proactively resolve the issues before customers contact you.
  • Automated Workflows – You can automate all your repetitive tasks to reduce the workload on your agents.
  • Marketing Automation – Gathers user reviews and UGC content automatically so you can use them as social proof. Also, offers discounts and deals to your users.
  • AI Chatbot – This in-build data-drive chatbot converses with your customers while understanding your workflows.
  • Knowledge base – With this self-help feature, your users can resolve their issues by themselves without consulting your support team.
  • Integrations – You can manage your returns and orders by connecting with your eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. Plus, Saufter also integrates with social media, messaging, and collaboration tools such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, etc.
  • Omnichannel Support – Not only on social media, you can also deliver customer support via live chat, phone, SMS, and email.

On top of all these features, it allows you to hire professional agents from their marketplace. It even tests and trains your current employees automatically.

Finally, through the real-time reports from Saufter, you can evaluate the performance of your business and make the necessary adjustments.

Also, read – Return metrics you must measure for your store



You can use Shopify without any integrations to deliver return services. However, the Shopify refunds and returns features are not enough and have too many disadvantages. So, if you want to provide a top-notch customer experience, then you should use automated return services by software like Saufter.

Actually, with Saufter, you can scale up your business with order management, automations, self-help, marketing, and even omnichannel customer support services.

So, what are you waiting for?

Start your 15-day free trial here!



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