The Must-Have Returns Management App for Shopify Brands

Tools & Tips
Carly Wallace
September 14, 2022

Compare platforms based on features, pricing, and more.

1. Loop

Why it’s a stand out

Loop heavily emphasizes exchanges instead of returns, resulting in retained revenue. They offer a variety of return and exchange options, which they claim can be 10x more impactful than reducing return costs.

Pros

  • Loop offers a risk-free “Instant Exchange,” which ships a shopper their exchange before they even send back their return
  • Their “Shop Now” keeps shoppers on your site by applying their return credit to another product you offer
  • Features such as boosted site credit and charging for returns can motivate shoppers to exchange instead of refund

Cons

  • Can be pricier than other returns platforms featured
  • Users report many additional features are hidden behind paywalls, despite the premium price they’re paying

Pricing

Pricing plans start at  $59/month, $165/month, and $375/month and support 1,000 returns/year, so prices may increase depending on returns per year. Their site doesn’t offer pricing information, however, we found it on the Shopify app store.

Target Audience

If you’re looking for a premium experience and not afraid to shell out a little cash for a returns platform, Loop is the move.

2. Returnly

Why it’s a stand out

Ripe with top-notch features and seamless automations, Returnly consistently releases new features to improve upon the returns experience for stores and shoppers alike.

Pros

  • With “Green Returns,” shoppers keep products that can’t be resold while still receiving their refund, reducing waste and shipping costs
  • Automated and localized returns for international orders

Cons

  • No plans available for Shopify Plus stores
  • Several features are add-ons cost extra

Pricing

Pricing is based on your current Shopify plan and is as follows: 

  • Basic Shopify: $29/month
  • Shopify: $59/month
  • Advanced Shopify: $149/month

Their site doesn’t offer pricing information, however, we found it on the Shopify app store

Target Audience

Stores that offer a premium product or rely heavily on brand recognition will benefit from Returnly.

3. Happy Returns

Why it’s a stand out

Happy Returns removes all of the worst parts of the return process for shoppers. With over 5,000 “Return Bars” nationwide, shoppers can drop off their return to their nearest location, no printing or packaging required. 

Pros

  • With Happy Returns’ bulk shipping processes, merchants can save up to 40% on shipping costs
  • Real-time inventory tracking encourages shoppers to exchange products before they return
  • Eco-friendly–returns are cardboard-free and require no printing on the shopper’s end

Cons

  • Some users report lack of customizations available for their store’s specific needs
  • Depending on what part of the country you do most of your sales, Return Bars may be limited

Pricing

Merchants that use PayPal at checkout can use Happy Returns for free (PayPal fees still apply). Otherwise, plans start at $500/month. Further pricing information can be found here.

Target Audience

If you provide PayPal at checkout and most of your returns come from highly populated areas across the country, definitely take advantage of Happy Returns for free.

4. AfterShip Returns

Why it’s a stand out

AfterShip has garnered over 1,700 reviews in the Shopify app store, which is a feat in and of itself. Even better, the app has a rock solid overall rating of 4.7.

Pros

  • Overwhelming praise for quick and efficient customer service
  • Robust analytics dash helps track every aspect of the returns process
  • The interface bears a striking resemblance to Shopify, which makes it easier to navigate

Cons

  • Set up is not as intuitive as other platforms, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve
  • Becomes increasingly expensive as your return volume climbs

Pricing

A free plan is available for three returns or less per month, and paid plans start at $9/month. Pricing then varies depending on returns per month. To get the most accurate pricing for your business, calculate your cost here.

Target Audience

If you’re looking for add-ons like package protection and shipping tracking on top of a returns tool, AfterShip is a great solution where you can bundle everything under one platform.

5. EcoReturns

Why it’s a stand out

EcoReturns has a heavy focus on sustainability. By using AI machine learning, they help merchants lower return rates, thus reducing their carbon footprint. 

Pros

  • The only platform highlighted that offers a totally free returns platform, regardless of return volume
  • Overwhelming praise for quick and efficient customer service
  • AI helps determine which orders have the highest return risk and why

Cons

  • Fairly basic offerings when compared to other returns platforms
  • While there is a free plan, it’s unclear how costly add-ons may be 

Pricing

EcoReturns offers a totally free plan that covers all of the basics. An advanced plan is also offered, but contacting EcoReturns is required for more information on pricing. Specifics on both plans can be found here

Target Audience

If you’re on a tight budget and looking to dip your feet into the world of returns tools, go with EcoReturns.

6. ReturnGo

Why it’s a stand out

With its quick set-up and easy to navigate interface, acclimating to ReturnGo is a cinch. Also, a unique feature we love is the ability for gift recipients to request a return or exchange.

Pros

  • Fairly affordable compared to other paid platforms
  • Overwhelming amount of users report ease of use
  • Supports any language, currency, and region

Cons

  • The site is fairly vague and doesn’t offer detailed information on the platform, which can lead to more guess work on your end to determine if it’s the right fit
  • Their help center is riddled with inactive links, which can be frustrating to those who prefer to troubleshoot independently

Pricing

Pricing is based on number of returns per month and is as follows: 

  • Standard: $9.97/month (includes 25 returns)*
  • Advanced: $49.97/month (includes 100 returns)*
  • Pro: $174.97/month (includes 350 returns)*

*$0.50 is charged for every additional return

Their site doesn’t offer pricing information, however, we found it on the Shopify app store

Target Audience

Smaller businesses who don’t process a high amount of returns and don’t have time to learn the intricacies of a complex product are the perfect fit. 

What is a Returns tool?

Returns tools exist to streamline and simplify the return process for your business. Directly integrating with your ecommerce platform, it’s a one-stop shop for managing the returns process, and can also offer simplicity and convenience to your shoppers. 

What are the benefits of using a Returns tool?

To start, returns tools save you and your shoppers time. Typically these platforms are self-service, removing the need for back-and-forth interactions with a customer service agent. Reducing interactions frees up your team to tackle higher level concerns and leaves customers satisfied they were able to self service.

Returns tools save you money. The optionality platforms offer shoppers can highly reduce your returns altogether, lowering shipping costs (more on optionality later). 

These platforms can help greatly with customer retention. Ninety-two percent of shoppers say they’ll purchase from a retailer again if the returns process is easy. By streamlining the process for shoppers and paring returns down to a one-click process, they’re more likely to shop again.

Not to mention, they promote sustainability. Thanks to machine learning, these platforms are optimized to make decisions that produce not only the best outcome for shoppers and stores, but for the environment. Reductions in waste (whether product or packaging) can greatly reduce a company’s carbon footprint.

What should you look for in a Returns tool?

Automation

Another software to manage is only worthwhile if it truly simplifies a process. During your research, prioritize a hands-off process. Meaning, the most time consuming part is setting the platform up for your store. After that, returns should require little to no attention from your customer support team.

Branding

Make sure shoppers know you’re still you when using a returns tool. Landing pages that feature your logo and brand colors will immerse the shopper in your brand throughout the returns process. They’ll remember how easy you made the return journey for them.

Optionality

Customers are increasingly craving choice. The most fabulous of returns tools aren’t really in the business of returns at all. In fact, they offer alternatives such as exchanges and boosted store credit to help you retain customers and avoid revenue loss altogether. 

Pricing

Is the cost you’re paying worth the value being provided? When shopping different plans, it’s worth projecting the rate in which you predict to scale. This way, you can decide on a platform that will grow with you without breaking the bank.

Integrations

With most processes and practices already in place within your company, you’ll want to find a solution that fits in seamlessly with your existing operations. Make the platform work for you, not the other way around. First, find a platform that integrates with your ecommerce tool (Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc.) Second (but still very important), check to see how cleanly it integrates with the already existing apps in your stack. 

Analytics

What are your most returned items? What are the main reasons shoppers return your products? What’s your total revenue loss? Robust analytics will give you deep insight into how you can improve the customer experience.