It’s a simple reality of e-commerce that customers return purchased items—in the neighborhood of 30% of all goods bought online. But is it equally unavoidable that processing, tracking, and coordinating these returns needs to eat up business owners’ and employees’ valuable time?

For many years, the answer was an unfortunate yes. These days? Luckily, not so much.

The state of customer e-commerce returns

But before we get to the solutions available to overburdened merchants, let’s dig deeper into the time-management problem that customer returns routinely cause for e-commerce businesses.

The numbers paint a staggering portrait. According to a report published by IMRG, a quarter of all consumers return between 5% and 15% of the items they purchase online. Which industries see the highest rates of e-commerce returns? Merchants who sell auto parts (at roughly 20%), apparel retailers (12.2%), home improvement and housewares brands (11.5%), and department stores (11.4%).

Now let’s get to the time crunch inherent in the e-commerce returns scenario. According to that same report by IMRG, a quarter of customers report that they expect their return to be processed in a timely fashion—and that if this doesn’t occur, it contributes to them having a bad experience with the brand. On the flipside, 92% of customers say that if a brand aces their returns experience, they are more likely to shop there again.

The stakes are clear. How well and how quickly a merchant handles its returns really does matter—and customers are paying close attention.

Empowering Your Tech Stack to Run Autonomously

With autonomous integrations that manage, track, process, and close out returns without so much as a finger lifted by a business owner, the arduous work of manually managing returns promises to become a relic of e-commerce’s past. One such solution is the highly self-sufficient Loop x NetSuite via Nova Module integration.

This best-in-class returns program allows merchants to automate processes with minimum effort—and to earn a maximum return in time saved. For e-commerce brands, a years’ worth of hours spent on business development or marketing instead of mundane returns logistics might spell the difference between success or failure.

How does it work? Here’s a rundown:

  • A return request is made by a customer on Shopify. This sends the information to Loop, which calculates the amount of the credit (as well as sales tax) and suggests an exchange or store credit to the customer instead of defaulting to a refund.
  • Loop also automatically organizes the pertinent return information (SKU number, date, customer information, and more) into a return authorization that’s automatically imported to NetSuite.
  • Once the item is returned to the warehouse, NetSuite prompts the refund or credit to be processed and sent to the customer. A refund or credit memo is issued, and the return is closed within the Loop system.

Of course, that’s just the process for a simple refund. But in all other situations—the issuing of store credit, exchanges, advanced exchanges, discounts or sales tax—Loop and NetSuite’s seamless integration still shines.

The integration’s settings offer extensive opportunities for custom configurations based on merchants’ needs. You can set the returns integration to run daily, weekly, or on any other timeline that may make sense for your business volume. You can also monitor return statuses on a clear and intuitive dashboard—or, to keep your attention focused on higher order tasks, simply enable notifications to receive automatic email updates as return requests change status.

However you decide to arrange your settings or build out your app customization, one thing is clear: this intuitive, efficient, and streamlined integration is the obvious choice for savvy e-commerce merchants—especially those who know the true value of an hour.

Learn more about the Loop x NetSuite via Nova Module and how it can power your returns management operations here.