Return Shipping Labels

Return labels are a crucial but often overlooked part of the ecommerce shopping & shipping experience. Especially for merchants shipping products like clothing, shoes, and phone cases, you should account for the fact that many customers may want to exchange or return these products. According to industry data, up to 30% of apparel and fashion orders are returned by the buyers. 

According to a survey conducted by Shippo, 54% of consumers say that free returns shipping is important to them, and it would be a decision factor when comparing between different merchants. Most improtantly, 34% of consumers responded that they purchase items if they know they can ship the items back at no cost.

Increase customer satisfucation and reduce their anxiety - and yours - by making it easy for them to return a product on their own and use a return label included in the package.  

With Shippo, there are two easy ways to generate return labels for domestic shipments for packages shipped via the USPS, UPS, and FedEx. You can either create a return label at the same time as you create your outbound shipping label and place it in the package or you can create a return label at any time after.

We recommend generating a return label and placing it into the package, which is called a scan-based return label. The great thing about scan-based return labels is that you are only charged for them if your customer uses them, so it's a no-brainer to include them with your customers outgoing package if you think there's a likelihood of them wanting to return or exchange their order. 

The alternative option is to generate a return label when a customer contacts you for returns. You can then email them the label for them to print.

Creating scan-based return labels with Shippo is easy. When selected, we generate them automatically by swapping recipient and sender addresses and then naming the label as "Return" in your Shipments dashboard.

For scan-based return labels, you'll create them at the same time as creating the outbound label. There’ll be a checkbox that reads "Also create a return label."

When you've successfully created both labels, you'll see two green buttons: “Download label” and “Download return label.” Both labels will be for the same carrier and service level (e.g. both USPS First Class).

Note that return labels can only be created for domestic shipments because international shipments require customs information that must be created on a per-label basis. If you'd like to include a return label with an international package, generate a new label for that shipment and manually reverse the sender and recipient addresses. This will work as long as you have import rates enabled for the carrier you're using, i.e. if your account is enabled to ship from other countries.

Need more help generating return labels in our dashboard? Check out this article in our Help Center that goes into more detail.  Working with our API? Please check out the api documentation for generating return labels.

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