Setting up online customer self-serve returns

To let your customers submit product return requests directly in your online store, you need to activate customer self-serve returns in your Shopify admin. You can also add instructions to your online store telling your customers how they can request returns.

Requirements for setting up customer self-serve returns

Customers can request returns only from their customer accounts in your online store. To let your customers submit return requests, you need to activate return requests in your Shopify admin and you need to give your customers a way to log in to their accounts in your online store.

You can do that by adding a login link to new customer accounts to your online store and the checkout, or by adding the new customer accounts URL to your store's footer, refund policy or another page in your store. Links to new customer account work even if you're using classic customer accounts.

Activate customer self-serve returns

To set up return requests, you first need to activate customer self-serve returns in your Shopify admin.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Checkout and accounts.
  2. In the Customer self-serve returns section, select Activate customer self-serve returns.
  3. Click Save.

After you activate customer self-serve returns, you then need to allow customers to log in from your online store and checkout using the new customer accounts. To do that you can set up the new customer accounts in your Shopify admin or add the new customer accounts URL to your store.

Adding the new customer accounts URL to your online store

When a customer clicks the new customer accounts URL, they're prompted to log in to their customer account and submit a return request.

You can add the new customer accounts URL anywhere on your online store where can you enter a URL, such as in your store's return policy or on a returns page.

You can find and copy your new customer accounts URL from your Checkout and accounts settings by going to the Customer account URLs section and copying the URL from New customer accounts field. After you copy the URL, you can add it to your online store wherever makes the most sense for your business.

Add the new customer accounts URL to your refund policy

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Policies.
  2. In the Refund policy section, select the text that you want to hyperlink, and then paste the new customer accounts URL.
  3. Click Save.

Add the new customer accounts URL to a page

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Pages.
  2. Click the page where you want to add the new customer accounts URL, such as a returns page.
  3. Select the text that you want to hyperlink, and then paste the new customer accounts URL.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Optional: Click View page to view how the changes are displayed in your online store.

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Navigation.
  2. Click Footer menu.
  3. Click Add menu item.
  4. In the Name field, enter a page name, such as Returns, Return requests, or Request a return.
  5. In the Link field, paste the new customer accounts URL.
  6. Click Add, and then click Save.

Customer experience

To submit return requests, your customer needs to log in to their customer account. Your customer can access their account in the following ways:

  • Click the new customer accounts URL that you add to your online store.
  • Log into their customer account from your store's navigation. This option works only if you have the new customer accounts activated in your store.

Your customer enters their email address and a six-digit verification code that is sent to their email address. A password isn't required to log in. After your customer enters the code in your store, they're granted access to their account.

Your customers can submit return requests only for orders that are fulfilled or partially fulfilled.

Add return request instructions to your store

Add information to your refund policy or a page within your online store about how return requests work. You can use and adjust the following example instructions of how a customer can submit a return request in your online store.

Submit a return request

Click the profile icon in the store's navigation, or go to the refund policy or a returns page, and then request a return.

1. Log in to your account: 
    1. In the Email field, enter your email address, and then click Continue.
    2. In your email account, open the email sent from our store and copy the six-digit verification code included in the email.
    3. Go back to the online store, and then enter a six-digit verification code.
2. Click the order that you want to submit the return for.
3. If your order has more than one item, then select the items that you want to return.
4. Select a return reason and add a note for the store.
5. Click Request return. 

If your return request is approved and requires shipping, then you receive an email with shipping instructions and a return shipping label. After the product is returned, you receive a refund.

Customizing return request email notifications

Return requests have the following email notifications:

  • return request confirmation
  • return request approved
  • return request declined

You can customize return request email notifications in Settings > Notifications > Returns.

Review the following table to learn more about return request email notifications:

Return request notifications
Notification Description
Return request confirmation Sent automatically to the customer after they have request a return.
Return request approved Sent to the customer when you approve a return request. This includes return shipping information if you upload a return shipping label when approving a return request.
Return request declined Sent to the customer with a message indicating why a return request was declined. You can edit the message to the customer before you send it from the decline screen.

If you provide a return shipping label using Shopify Shipping or SFN, then customers receive a return approval email and another email that contains a return shipping label.

Receiving return requests email notifications

If you choose to receive order notifications by email, then you also automatically receive return request notifications by email. Return request notifications aren't available on the Shopify mobile app.

You can manage your order and return request notifications in Settings > Notifications > Staff order notifications.

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