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Chapter 3: Customer Not Empowered

Reduce Consumer Friction

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Returns portal image where a customer is registering a return for a laptop raiser

parcelLab Returns Study Found...

of shoppers are influenced by a brand's return policy

of consumers want access to their return status at any time

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Returns are an often overlooked revenue opportunity. Many retailers use analog processes, which fail to deliver the level of transparency and control needed to reduce returns and retain more revenue…




Reliance On Customer Service

Having to contact customer support to initiate and track a return is time-consuming and tedious, and denies your consumers any control or ownership over the process. This leads to frustration as well as operational complexity and cost.

Options for customers to get help from customer service agents


Third-Party Communication

If your post-purchase and returns communications are sent from third parties, such as carriers and 3PLs, your customers are likely receiving inconsistent, unhelpful, or even confusing updates. This results in a poor customer experience, which reflects on your brand and drives up support inquiries.

Return notifications from different carriers


Costly Customer Contact

Without visibility or control over the returns process, your customers are disempowered and completely reliant on customer support. This becomes an expensive problem for retailers, having to handle large call volumes and inbound WISMR (where is my return) inquiries, as this real-life example shows:?


This high-end consumer electronics giant, with an annual revenue of $6.5 billion, required its shoppers to speak to a customer service agent to register or track a return. As a result, 100% of its returns created a customer contact, at an average cost of $7 per call.?

Customer service hotline number and working hours.


Empower Customers

Provide your shoppers with an intuitive self-service portal that delivers a frictionless returns experience, and gives your consumers greater control and visibility. With a self-service portal, retailers can:

  • Let customers initiate and track returns online when it suits them
  • Customize eligibility criteria, return reasons, methods and refund alternatives to reduce costly returns
  • Design personalized returns experiences that retain revenue
  • Send proactive status updates that reduce inquiries and boost loyalty
  • Reduce pressure on customer support to focus on revenue-driving activities
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Registering a return for a laptop that has a technical problem of the charger not working.

Case Study: Conrad Electronics

With a global annual revenue of $1.3 billion, this multinational electronics retailer significantly reduced its return rate and improved the customer experience by implementing a digital self-service returns portal.



No Visibility

Conrad previously included paper return labels with their deliveries. While this process was functional, it lacked visibility of the status and location of a return for both the retailer and customers. Lost return labels and status inquiries still drove customer support outreach.?


Lack of Proactivity


Without information about returns volumes, the nature and condition of the items coming back, and transit times, Conrad was unable to optimally plan the returns and restocking process. They also lacked insights into return reasons until products arrived back at the warehouse, preventing them from taking early corrective action, such as updating product descriptions.?

Returns form


Self-Service Returns

Today Conrad’s customers can register returns via a digital self-service portal, where they receive a printable label or QR code. Intuitive, personalized return journeys guide shoppers through the process, even in complex scenarios like second-hand warranty claims, where the registrant is not the original product owner. Consumers can also track the status of their returns online, without the need to engage support.?

A customer requesting an exchange for an equipment tester with the return reason "Not what I expected" selected.


Visibility & Automation

Conrad Electronics has full transparency over which items are being returned and why, expected return volumes, and transit times, which allows them to process returns faster through automated booking, significantly cutting operation costs. They can access additional insights into returns behavior and frequently returned ‘toxic’ products, enabling them to proactively reduce future returns.??

Analytics on the reason customers return a certain item

Business Impact

fewer returns

of customers use the returns portal

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Achieve Results Just Like These With parcelLab

Turn potential dissatisfaction into an opportunity for revenue retention by digitizing your returns, warranty, and exchanges process.?

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returns flow

Digital Returns Portal

Front-end digital experience embedded on your site by JavaScript snippet.

Track & Communicate

Deliver end-to-end post-purchase communication with personalized emails and an embedded returns status page.

Unmatched Personalization Capabilities

Drive web traffic and repeat purchases with hyper-relevant content to engage your customers.

Custom eligibility icon

Custom Eligibility Rules

Reduce invalid and uneconomical returns by setting custom eligibility rules and return/repair reasons that reinforce policies.

Order API Connection

Ensure best-practice data access with no compromise on data privacy.

Multi-Label & Split Returns

Handle complex multi-item returns requiring more than one label, returning to one or more locations.

Comprehensive RMA Sharing

Reduce manual warehouse processing and enable further automation.

Confirmation Page Survey

Collect customer rating and reviews on the confirmation page.

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Learn how you can delight customers and retain revenue with our returns solution - Retain.

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