Skip to content
Reclaimit blog

5 key factors to consider when choosing a returns management system

Did you know that approximately 30%* of all products ordered online are returned? In today's competitive e-commerce landscape, managing returns efficiently is more important than ever. In this blog post we share our 5 most important key factors to consider helping you make a well-informed decision when it´s time to choose a returns management system.

A seamless return process can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty. Although, the market offers many options today so how do you choose the right returns management system for your business and your specific needs? 

How to choose returns management system  

1. Automation and efficiency

The potential to automate your returns management process is one of the primary benefits of digitising your returns. Many companies still handle returns manually, which can be manageable with a low monthly return rate. However, as your business grows and the volume of returns increases, the manual effort required can become overwhelming and inefficient.

Benefits of automation

Automating your returns management system can significantly reduce the time and labor involved in handling returns. Tasks such as creating return labels, sending notifications, and providing status updates can be automated, freeing up your staff to focus on more critical tasks. Automation ensures consistency and accuracy, reducing the risk of human error and improving the overall efficiency of your operations.

Key questions to consider

When evaluating a returns management system, it’s essential to understand its capabilities in terms of automation. Here are some critical questions to ask:

  • How much efficiency can you save by choosing this system?
    Assess the potential time and cost savings. Read case studies or testimonials from other businesses that have used the system to understand its impact on their operations.

  • Which parts of the return process are automated?
    Determine if the system automates the entire return process or only specific parts. Comprehensive automation might include label generation, customer notifications, refund processing, and inventory updates.

  • Can the system handle high volumes of returns?
    As your business grows, the system should be scalable to handle an increasing number of returns without compromising performance or efficiency.

  • How flexible is the system’s automation?
    Check if the system allows customisation to fit your specific business needs. For example, can you set different automation rules for various product categories or return reasons?


2. Capabilities to integrate with other systems 

Managing multiple platforms and systems can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially if they cannot communicate with each other. When it comes to return systems, it is essential to integrate them with your existing systems, such as e-commerce platforms (e.g., Shopify), ERP systems, inventory management systems, and CRM systems. Read more about this on our partner page. 

Benefits of seamless integration

When your returns management system integrates with these other systems, data flows smoothly between them. For instance, when a customer initiates a return, the return management system can update the inventory levels in real-time. This synchronisation ensures accurate stock levels, preventing issues like overselling or stockouts.

Other benefits of seamless integration include:

  • Improved customer experience:
    Customers receive a consistent experience across all touchpoints, ensuring that information and updates about their order and return status are always up to date.

  • Operational efficiency:
    Integration reduces manual data entry and the potential for errors, streamlining your processes and saving time.

  • Better data insights: 
    Integrated systems provide a comprehensive view of your operations, helping you make informed decisions based on real-time data.

Key considerations

When evaluating returns management systems, conduct thorough research and ask potential partners the following questions to understand their integration capabilities:

  • Which systems can your returns management system integrate with?
    Ensure the system supports integration with your existing e-commerce platform, ERP, inventory management system, and CRM.

  • How easy is the integration process?
    Ask about the setup process, the level of technical expertise required, and whether the vendor provides support during integration.

  • What level of data synchronisation is offered?
    Determine if the integration supports real-time data updates and how frequently data is synchronised between systems.

In some cases, it may be easier to switch to a different returns management system that offers better integration capabilities rather than trying to force a system to work outside of your existing tool stack. By ensuring smooth integration, you can streamline your operations, enhance the customer experience, and maintain accurate and up-to-date information across all systems.

3. Customer Experience

Customer Experience (CX) remains a critical factor, arguably more important than ever. According to our report “State of Returns and Circular Shopping 2024,” 3 out of 4 customers have abandoned an e-retailer due to dissatisfaction with the return process. Common reasons for dissatisfaction include unclear return policies, lack of information, and long waiting times for return status updates.

Key features of a user-friendly returns management system

A user-friendly returns management system allows customers to initiate returns effortlessly. When selecting such a system, look for one that offers a simple, intuitive return process. Key features might include:

  • Straightforward online return portal:
    Customers should be able to quickly select the items they wish to return, choose the reason and get a QR-code for return with ease.

  • Clear return policy and information: 
    Ensure the system provides customers with clear, easily accessible information about your return policy.

Importance of effective communication

Effective communication is key to keeping customers informed throughout the return process. A good returns management system provides automated notifications at each stage of the return process, from the initiation of the return to the receipt of the returned item and the issuance of the refund or exchange. These updates help manage customer expectations and reduce uncertainty.


Speed and efficiency

Speed is another crucial factor in enhancing customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate prompt refunds or exchanges. When choosing a returns management system, consider how quickly it can process returns and issue refunds or exchanges. Look for features such as automated refund processing that minimise delays and manual intervention.

4. Scalability

As your business grows, your returns management needs will evolve. Choosing a returns management system that can scale with your business is crucial for long-term success. When your sales increase, so will the volume of returns. A scalable returns management system can handle a growing number of return requests without compromising performance or customer satisfaction.

Handling increased return volume

With business growth comes an increase in return requests. A scalable system is designed to efficiently manage this higher volume, ensuring that your operations run smoothly even during peak times. Look for a system that can handle sudden spikes in return volume, such as during holiday seasons or sales events, without slowing down or causing delays.

Supporting business expansion

Scalability also involves supporting your business as it expands into new markets or regions. In such cases, your returns management system should have features that facilitate this growth, including:

  • Multi-currency support:
    As you enter new markets, you’ll need a system that can handle transactions in multiple currencies, ensuring a smooth experience for international customers.

  • Language options:
    Providing support in various languages helps cater to customers from different regions, enhancing their overall experience and reducing potential misunderstandings.

  • Regional return logistics:
    Efficiently managing returns from different geographical locations requires a system with robust regional logistics capabilities. This includes local return centers, partnerships with regional carriers, and knowledge of regional return policies and regulations.

Consistent customer experience

A scalable returns management system ensures that all customers, regardless of their location, receive a consistent and seamless experience. This consistency builds trust and loyalty, as customers know they can expect the same high level of service no matter where they are.

Future-proofing your business

Investing in a scalable system future-proofs your business by allowing you to adapt to changing demands and market conditions. As your business continues to grow and evolve, a scalable system provides the flexibility to incorporate new features and integrations, ensuring you stay ahead of the competition.

When evaluating returns management systems, consider not only your current needs but also your future growth plans. Ensure the system you choose can scale effectively with your business, supporting increased return volumes and expansion into new markets without compromising performance or customer satisfaction.

5. A user-friendly interface

A seamless customer experience goes hand in hand with a user-friendly interface, a crucial factor that has become increasingly important in recent years. This is vital not only for your customers but also for your teams who will use the platform daily.

Even if you work in retail, you've likely ordered products online and experienced the frustration of a cumbersome return process. Missing return labels, the need to look up email addresses, contacting customer support through your regular inbox, and waiting days for a response can make returns a hassle. If the return platform itself is difficult to navigate, it can frustrate even the calmest person.

When selecting a new returns management system, ensure it offers a customisable interface that can be tailored to your business's specific needs. For example, if you need to handle multiple currencies, the system should accommodate this requirement.

Ease of use

An intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface is essential for both customers and staff. For customers, a straightforward return process reduces frustration and enhances their overall shopping experience, making them more likely to return. For staff, an easy-to-use system means less time spent on training and troubleshooting, and more time focused on providing excellent service. Look for a system with a clean, logical layout and clear instructions that guide users through the return process effortlessly.


Every business has unique needs, and a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. The ability to customise the returns management system’s interface to fit your specific requirements is critical. Whether it’s handling multiple currencies, accommodating different return policies for various product categories, or integrating with existing systems, customisation ensures that the platform works seamlessly with your business operations. When evaluating systems, consider how easily you can tailor the interface to meet your specific needs and how flexible the system is in adapting to future changes.


Choosing the right returns management system is vital for enhancing customer satisfaction, streamlining operations, and supporting business growth. By focusing on automation and efficiency, integration capabilities, customer experience, scalability, and a user-friendly interface, you can select a system that meets your current needs and adapts to future demands.

Investing in the right returns management system not only improves your return process but also strengthens customer loyalty and helps your business thrive in the competitive e-commerce landscape. Take the time to research and evaluate your options, asking the right questions to ensure you make a well-informed decision that supports your long-term success.

If you are curious to find out if Reclaimits returns management solution is for you, feel free to book a demo and we will guide your through the platform and show you how we can customise it after your needs! 

*Source: Invesp

Anna Fogelström
Published 2024-06-13