ShipStation knows returns are time-consuming, and likely your least favorite part of running your business. The hard truth is they are not going away. By using ShipStation’s Branded Returns Portal, you can save yourself time by allowing your customer to initiate their own returns. Think of it as self-service returns.
Save time by turning the return process into customer self-service.
Boost your sales! Check out our blog post about how our Branded Returns Portal can increase your sales!
No need to include return labels in your outgoing shipments, and so no more need to void the unused return labels.
Your customers can report exactly why they are returning an item, which over time provides data on common reason for returns. Go to
Insights > Reports > Returned Productsto run a report at any time.
Example 1: Are your items frequently returned for damage during shipment? Perhaps you need to improve your packaging!
Example 2: Are you getting several exchange requests because customers report the size of the apparel is too small? You may need to add a disclaimer on the product page stating the item runs small, and recommend your customers order a size larger than usual.
Example 3: Are several returns due to defective items? You may need to address an issue with the product manufacturer.
A simple, self-service return process is a better experience for your customers. They’ll remember that the next time they shop online for your products.
You maintain control over which shipping service the customer can use for their return label.
This video demonstrates how your customers can create return labels on the Branded Returns Portal.
To provide your customers access to your new Branded Returns page, copy the auto-generated URL from the Branded Returns Portal URL section and add it as an embedded link to your store website or to your shipment email notification templates in ShipStation.
After you've enabled the Branded Returns Portal, the Returns tab of the store's settings includes four settings:
Determines how long a customer has to create a return label after the order’s ship date. This cutoff only effects the Branded Return Portal. You will still be able to create return labels beyond this limit in ShipStation.
Return service and package type
Determines which service and package type are available for the return labels.
When using a USPS Postage Provider like Stamps.com or Express 1, or any Provider offered through ShipStation Carrier Services, you will need to enable auto-funding to ensure you're account does not run out of funds when creating return labels for customers. If auto-funding is not already enabled, you will be prompted to enable it when you select a relevant service as the default.
We do not support Endicia related services as an option for the Branded Returns Portal at this time.
You can currently select only one return service and package type to be available on the Branded Returns Portal.
Return policy message
Optional. Displays any text entered in this field on the Return Policy pop-up on the Branded Tracking Page and Branded Returns Portal. This setting is present whether the Branded Returns Portal is enabled or not, since the Return policy message can be included in the Branded Tracking Page as well.
Return email message
Optional. The message that will be included in Return Label emails. This field is not used directly on the Branded Returns Portal, but customers may see this message if you have to email them return labels at a later time. This setting is present whether the Branded Returns Portal is enabled or not, since it also applies to returns initiated through ShipStation.
Be sure to Save Changes when you're done!
Here are the steps your customer will take on your Branded Returns portal when creating a return:
Enter the order number and the order's ship-to postal code.
Click the Look Up Order button. The next screen will display the order information and each item in the order.
Select the quantity of each item to return and the reason for the return.
Click the Submit Request button. The next (and final) page shows their return was authorized.
Click the Print Return Label button.
If the product is not Returnable, it will not be able to have a return label generated and the user will see this in the portal:
A few things to keep in mind about the Branded Return Portal:
To determine the return shipment details, ShipStation will use the following values:
Return Address: Will use the Ship From Location used to create the outbound shipment.
Weight: Will use the weight set as the Product Default, or the product weight sent to us from the selling channel, multiplied by the quantity being returned.
If no weight is set for the product, or the selling channel does not send us specific product weights, will divide the total weight of outbound shipment by the total number of items in the shipment, then multiply by the quantity being returned.
Dimensions: Will use the same dimensions as the outbound shipment.
If a product record exists in ShipStation, the product must be marked as Returnable. Products with no product record are always considered Returnable.
Self-service returns are configured at the store level, so make sure to configure each store for which you wish to allow customer-initiated returns.
The Branded Returns Portal your customers see will use the design settings from that selling channel's Branding tab.
The Branded Returns Portal can only create return labels for shipments that were initially created in ShipStation.
When your customer creates a return label, a return record is added to your ShipStation account in
Shipments > Returns(from here you can download the label should you ever need to email it to your customer).
Split orders that retain the same order number as the original cannot be processed in the Branded Returns Portal. You can still create return labels for these orders manually in ShipStation.
As with all return labels created within ShipStation, returns can only be created for domestic shipments (that is, for shipments with a destination address in the same country as the shipment's origin address).
Currently, the Branded Return Portal is supported for the following carriers for domestic shipments:
Australia Post (must use return-specific services), StarTrack (all StarTrack returns must be manifested using ShipStation's End of Day process).