A Practical Guide to Online Shopify Exchanges

11 OCTOBER, 2022
Most Shopify merchants are bound to face this issue at some point: dealing with exchange/returns of their products. Product exchanges often have a bad reputation for being expensive, complicated, and nothing more than an indication of unsatisfied customers.

But here's the truth about these exchanges: They are unavoidable for ecommerce retailers and won't be going away anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the most popular eCommerce platforms (Incl. Shopify) lack return management tools, so retailers often look for alternatives to handle exchanges. Since there are no built-in Shopify refund and exchange tools, there are two options:
  • Some store owners end up using the Shopify POS system to handle in-person exchanges. (The price tag can be hefty - Your Shopify plan + plus $89 USD/month per location)
  • For others, we've covered some popular pocket-friendly exchange-handling solutions in this guide.
There are 5 Shopify Apps That Make Returns/ Exchanges Easier

To make things easier, we've compiled a list of six popular solutions that can assist you in taking exchange/ return management to the next level.(P.S. You should go through this list with the volume of returns, size of your business, and current returns management needs in mind, and see which solution best fits your arsenal.)
1. Helplama Helpdesk
The Helplama helpdesk is the first platform on the list; it is a multi-channel help desk designed for ecommerce teams of various sizes. To provide the best customer experience possible, the platform includes a robust set of service management features.

It is one of the few helpdesks that includes an automated self-service return portal, allowing your customers to select the items they want to return or exchange and place a return order automatically.

This platform can also be integrated with other marketing tools/e-commerce platforms that you are already using in your business. The Helplama Helpdesk is inexpensive and easy to set up, and most agents can use it with little to no training.

Top Features:
  • One-click integration with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magneto, and Woo-commerce, among others, can be useful.
  • Using Helplama's helpdesk, your customers can download return labels with a single click.
  • The platform automatically detects delays and issues with your customers' orders and assists you in proactively resolving the situation.
  • It is also one of the few helpdesks that come with an easy-to-use automatic training module that will train and test your team members.
2. Returnly (Overall ratings: 4.6/5⭐, 164 reviews)

Looking for a solution that combines a self-service return center, automated emails, and other features to create a more streamlined returns experience? Returnly should be at the top of your list.

The ability to track and monitor return analytics, user engagement, and user behavior at each stage is a notable feature.

Returnly integrates with a wide range of third-party software, allowing you to serve customers across multiple platforms. You can also provide your customers with tracking information and estimated return dates by using timely notification alerts.

Top Features:
  • If a customer chooses a refund over an exchange, Returnly provides Instant Credit to help them find something new while their return is being processed.
  • With automatic labels and exchange processing, customers can begin a return or exchange at any time.
  • You have the ability to create product or order-level tags in order to set or override policy outcomes.
  • Other important features include printerless QR codes, international support, brand controls, CSAT surveys, and more.
3. AfterShip Returns Center (Overall ratings: 4.6/5⭐, 1793 reviews)
AfterShip Returns Center is a well-known automated exchange/return management platform that can assist you in providing your customers with an engaging and self-service return experience.

The platform includes enough tools to manage not only exchanges but also your entire returns system. These tools range from establishing your exchange/return rules and windows to tracking progress and gaining critical insights.

During our review, we came across an important notification feature in which customers are automatically notified via email at each stage of the exchange return process. Your customers will also receive proactive updates on exchange/return status and tracking information from the AfterShip Shopify returns app via email and SMS.

Top Features:
  • Complete shipment visibility: Gather insightful tracking data in one location to resolve delivery issues more quickly.
  • Set up shipment notifications to keep customers engaged with seamless post-purchase communications.
  • Create a branded tracking page to provide the best post-purchase experience in order to increase customer loyalty and sales.
  • The platform includes analytics that will provide you with actionable insights into your post-purchase experience and shipping performance.
4. Happy Returns (Overall ratings: 4/5⭐, 9 reviews)
If your goal is to offer your customers a best-in-class return and exchange Shopify portal, Happy Returns is a solution you should check out. Aside from being able to create an excellent exchange portal, we discovered that the app's dashboard provides complete visibility into the status of each order as it returns to your warehouse.

One of the major benefits of the app is its ability to reduce refunds by providing a simple exchange workflow. For example, if your customers select “Too Large” as the exchange reason, the software will automatically suggest the next available size up, allowing them to complete the exchange with a single click.

Like other products mentioned here, you can also get valuable insights on the reasons for returns, exchange rates, and the location of your items, among other things.

Top Features:
  • Gift recipients can use the platform to return or exchange a gift without notifying the person who gave them the gift.
  • Customers who do not have printers will benefit from the in-person return bar option.
  • When your shoppers choose to send their returns back by mail, with Happy Returns, your customers get to automatically download a prepaid shipping label.
  • You can also recommend exchanges based on shopper return reason and available inventory.
5. Loop Returns (Overall ratings: 4.5/5⭐, 15 reviews)
Loop Returns  should be on your list if you need a platform for managing returns, exchanges, and return labels, as well as optimizing your post-purchase capabilities.

The main use case is that Loop allows your customers to easily initiate a return or exchange at any time. Following that, based on the conditions you specify, the platform automatically approves, rejects, or flags Shopify returns and exchanges for manual review.

We discovered that the back-end includes all of the features needed to help you create a customized returns experience. Loop may also be the tool for you if you require an exchange managem

Top Features:
  • With their one-click exchange feature, customers can easily get a refund to their original payment method or replace with the same item.
  • You can provide your customers with extra credit for exchanges by allowing them to select any product in your catalog at the value of their current return order.
  • Set up smart routing rules to ensure that items are returned to the correct location at the lowest possible cost.
  • The platform includes detailed analytics to help you understand your exchange process performance, so you can better plan inventory and improve product offerings.

So there you have it! No more googling “How to do an exchange on Shopify?” or “How to exchange an item in Shopify POS?”

These platforms are a great place to start if you're new to exchange management for your Shopify store and looking for an effective tool.

Each of these exchange management tools has a unique set of features that can be customized to meet your specific needs. When you compare your company's needs to the features listed above, you can narrow down your search and find the best help desk ticketing software for your team.

P.S. Hundreds of thousands of Shopify merchants have put their trust in these platforms, so you can be confident that they will help you grow your business.

Good luck! We hope this guide helps you in selecting the exchange platform that best meets your Shopify store needs.