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Improve your return labeling process

Learn the differences between prepaid and scan-based, printed and printerless return shipping labels and see which one fits your business needs best!

Use this ultimate checklist to analyze your current labeling process, see what works and what doesn’t, and improve for the future. 📈

This checklist is meant to be copied and customized for your team.
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Return labels help allocate and classify a product throughout the return process, making them a fundamental part of the process. There are several ways to generate return labels, and some are more effective than others in terms of costs and customer satisfaction.
If you're an eCommerce company, then there's no room for mistakes when it comes to returns. Shipping carriers and suppliers need accurate information so they can process orders correctly the first time.

Why improve your labeling system?

The key to running a successful retail business is being as efficient and error-free as possible, but this can be difficult if you lack the time or resources. With so much competition out there, it's important that all retailers take care in how they handle returns—from providing scan-based return labels to asking for customer feedback and return reasons.
The return label is not just one aspect of the returns management system, but it's also a fundamental part for any eCommerce business. Things can quickly become pricey and time-consuming if you make mistakes with your processing or shipping labels! For instance, with online, scan-based, and printerless return label options available, it's easier than ever before for all parties involved, from your support team and carriers to your customers.
Return labels are crucial tools in the logistics of return shipping. Accurately spelling and formatting your label can save you time during this process, as well as prevent delays due misspellings on returns packages that could cause further complications that can negatively impact every level within your organization! Any errors found early by way of carefully reviewing each detail will make sure all components work together smoothly. 👏
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Which type of label is the best for your customers?

Just because you provide your customers with return labels, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it productively for your eCommerce business. 👀
Fortunately, using WeSupply, your customers can automatically generate return shipping labels once they return a product, directly from our platform. You can set up an automatic flow for return labels, or you can let your customer care representatives manually create return labels for your customers.
You can also choose the type of label that you would like to generate: Scan-Based or Prepaid. If you go for prepaid return shipping labels, you are right away, whereas with scan-based return labels, you are only charged upon usage.
Moreover, you can add printed labels in box for your customers to fill in and then send out to you again. However, most often, these labels are not used at all, leaving you to pay for the paper and service without them ever being used. Other times, one label in the box is not enough for customers who want to send multiple packages separately.
This can, however, be avoided by generated QR codes that can be used digitally, on mobile devices, or printed at home, if customers feel more comfortable doing this the old way. This sustainable way of generating return labels saves you time and money while giving them more options to choose from. You can provide your clients with a choice of over 200k drop-off locations in the US such as , , , and many more.

Offering self-service printerless returns is the perfect solution to streamline the experience for both you and your customers. With returns on autopilot, save time by not having to handle them yourself!

☑️ Return Label Checklist

Here are the steps you need to take in order to effectively improve your return labeling process!

In order to understand the efficacy and relevance of your current processes and systems, and to work on your long-term return label strategy for eCommerce success, consider the following general steps:
Gather relevant information
Identify options and alternatives
Weigh the evidence
Select the best solution
Evaluate your plan
Implement the process
Testing the validity and effectiveness of the decision
Learn and optimize for the future

If you want to apply these at multiple levels to effectively improve your return label generation, management, and tracking, go over the detailed checklist below that we have prepared for you.
Depending on your business model, size, location, preferences, and customer base, you might
need to remove or add items to the list. Generally speaking, to decide what are the best ways to improve the returns process for your online store, ask yourself:

Progress Bar

% of tasks completed)
We recommend working on one topic at a time. When you've completed one section, mark it as done on the checklist. The progress bar move towards 100% each time you cross an item off the list.
📦 Label Generation
Are your return labels carrier-compliant?
How long does it take to generate return labels?
Are you tracking and measuring results for increased performance?
Have you optimized your processes accordingly?
Have you identified options to automate repetitive tasks?
Have you implemented alternatives to eliminate unnecessary steps?
💻 System Integration
Do you have a returns system for return label automation?
Have you integrated label generation into your returns system?
Have you tested the effectiveness of your returns system integration?
Have you identified alternatives to automate repetitive tasks?
Have you removed unnecessary steps for better performance?
📄 Label Management
Do you currently store return labels?
Do you have return label templates to automate process?
Do you have a management system to centralize label templates?
What type of return shipping labels do you provide (e.g., scan-based, QR codes, printed-at-home, printed in box)?
🚚 Shipment Tracking
Do you have a system to track returns?
Do some of return packages arrive with little or no documentation?
Are all your returns that arrive properly labeled?
Are your customers notified about their return statuses?
Can you customers track returns on their own for efficiency?
Have you implemented an automated system that enables them to check the statuses of returns and refunds?
⭐ Customer Feedback
Have you surveyed customers for their opinions about the returns process?
Are customers satisfied with the process, or do they find it challenging?
Are you consistently gathering information on returns reasons?
Have you explored ways to improve the returns process for them?
Have you taken action towards improving services and products accordingly?

What does this all mean?

📦 Label Generation

This area refers to the methods and practices used to generate return labels, from choosing your carrier to ensuring the compliance of your return labels, and the options you provide for your customer, from prepaid or scan-based return shipping labels to printed or printerless ones.

💻 System Integration

When discussing system integration, we refer to the construction of a customized information system that may include designing or building an architecture, integrating it with new hardware and software packages. In this context, this process is represented by the way your label generating procedure integrates into your returns management platform (e.g., WeSupply).

📄 Label Management

Labeling your products can be a time-consuming and costly process. But with the help of label management systems, you'll have all the necessary tools at hand in order to streamline this entire procedure from start to finish while also reducing costs.

🚚 Shipment Tracking

Tracking the returns is one of the most important phases of the entire return process. Having all return statuses centralized will help you organize your inventory while giving your customers some peace of mind. Your return management software should be able to provide you with return shipment tracking. If not, make sure you check out WeSupply to make the most out of your returns!

⭐ Customer Feedback

Listening to your customer is key if you want to succeed in this competitive business environment, especially in retail and eCommerce. Your returns management software should enable you to collect return reasons that you will then need to carefully analyze in order to understand your customer base better and improve your services and products.

💡 Before you leave!

Change management is not necessarily child’s play. Luckily, we’re here to lend you a helping hand! 🤝

Copy, paste, and adjust the text below to fit your preferred channel of communication, and share it with your team:
Hi team,

After thoroughly researching and looking for effective ways to optimize our returns processes using self-service automation software, I’ve come across a returns management system that enables us to reduce the overall number of returns, drive more repeat purchases, and increase revenue while creating a positive post-purchase experience for our customers.
is the Return Checklist Label that inspired me to let you know about this, feel free to check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Can we jump on a quick call to further discuss the details of this tool and
how we can implement it to get the best results?

👉 Need help with your self-service returns center? Make sure you contact one of our specialists to learn more and set your online store up for success!

💬 Task tracker with Slack notifications (Optional)

We understand that the implementation is the most challenging part, and we're here to help you and your team improve your labeling process. Assign team members tasks and send a Slack message whenever anyone completes a task!

Enter your Slack channel below or change the Slack channel directly in the button column. Add tasks, descriptions, and owner. When the task is complete, hit done and notify your colleagues!
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Your Slack channel to send messages:
View Team Tasks
Task stage
Send message
Label Generation
Monica Cocian
In Progress
Notify channel
Customer Feedback
Diana Gaspar
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System Integration
Not Started
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💭 Not sure how to implement printerless QR code return labels? Check out this article
or contact one of our experts to help you set up your Self-Service Returns Center!

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