Destinations gives Loop Pro, Plus, and Advanced merchants the ability to add and manage multiple warehouse locations or donation centers. When a customer initiates a return, Loop can:
- Rate shop between all available locations to send the return to the cheapest destination
- Send specific products back to specific destinations - especially useful for dropshipping businesses or, when utilizing a donation center for certain products or eligible returns
In addition to providing more flexibility with where returns go, this functionality allows merchants to add global warehouse locations that can be tied to location-based return policies. This allows merchants to accept returns in any country where they have a warehouse.
In this article:
- Using Destinations: Rate Shopping
- Using Destinations: Rules
- Adding New Destinations
- Adding or Editing Destinations with CSV
- Using Destinations in Location-Based Return Policies
Using Destinations: Rate Shopping
Most carriers leverage "zones" to price shipping labels. Using the sender's ZIP code as a start point, carriers look at zones of postal codes to figure out how much a shipping label should be. Here's an example of what USPS' shipping zones look like for a package coming from Southern California.
By having multiple locations across the country, more of your return shipments will come from cheaper zones, saving you money on return shipping labels.
At the Pro and Plus levels, Loop allows merchants to add any destinations where they can accept returns. Loop's default functionality is to rate shop between all available return destinations any time a customer submits a return. Loop will provide the customer with a return label to the cheapest destination based on their location. Using destinations to rate shop between multiple locations requires no additional configuration. Add your destinations and Loop will take care of the rest.
What does this mean for you? This feature means you save on shipping costs, the customer gets their outcome faster, and we're all using less energy to get packages where they need to go.
Using Destinations: Product Rules
As merchants scale, they need to be more sophisticated with their fulfillment model and how they handle returns. Dropshippers or merchants with multiple destinations dedicated to fulfilling specific products need to be able to direct those products back to specific destinations.
Dropshippers, for example, ship products directly from their partner vendors' warehouses. When a customer wants to return those products, the most efficient approach is to send them back to the vendor where they can be restocked.
Loop Pro and Plus can accommodate this need. When adding new destinations, merchants can now create rules associated with those locations to ensure that returned products are going to the right place. Loop can also handle situations where the customer is returning multiple products that each have separate end destinations.
What does this mean for you? This means no extra shipping to get returned products to the right place, less work for your warehouse teams, and lower costs.
NOTE: Due to the way Loop receives label rates from Fedex SmartPost - this feature does not work with Fedex SmartPost.
Product Rules Customer Experience
When merchants add multiple destinations with product rules, customers returning multiple products that need to go to separate places will see a slightly different return process. A few notable changes:
- If Display this name to customer in the return portal is checked when adding a destination. When first looking up their order, customers will see the name of the Vendor (as listed in Shopify) on each item in their order.
If Enforce product rules is turned on. When a customer selects a product to return to a certain destination, products linked to other destinations will grey out. This is to prevent the customer from returning multiple products in the same return, which will send those products to the default destination instead.
When hovering over the greyed out products on their order, Loop will show a tooltip to explain why they have been greyed out. This copy is editable in the Destinations screen, if Enforce product rules is turned on.
When the return for all items to this destination is complete, customers will have the ability to easily start a new return for any products tied to other destinations. This can be done right from the Return Status Page.
For customers that are submitting multiple returns on the same order - whether due to destination rules or to normal customer behavior - Loop will list all other returns associated with a given order on the Return Status Page. Customers can pull up any other returns they may need information or a label for from this page.
Adding New Destinations
Adding a new destination is easy. Whether you plan to use them to have Loop rate shop labels, or to create some destination rules, you'll start by doing the same thing. Here's how:
Setting Up Rate Shopping
- In the Loop Admin, to go Settings > Destinations.
- Click Add Destination.
- Add a name for the location. This name will appear on the return label. If the box "Display this name to customer in return portal" is checked, customers will see where their products are going as they go through the return processed. If you are a dropshipping merchant with multiple vendors that customers will send returns to, Loop recommends checking this box.
- Set the Destination Type. Note - the Destination Type can be either an additional warehouse or processing center or, a donation center for goods deemed unsellable.
- Add the address for the destination. Note that some 3PLs may require specific information to be included in the Apartment, Suite, etc and Company fields. The phone number is optional for merchants using USPS for return labels but is required for merchants using Fedex or UPS.
IMPORTANT: You must add the destination to the relevant return policy in order for Loop to begin shopping rates for that destination.
To do this, go to Settings > Return policies and click on the policy to which you'd like to add this destination.
Please make note that destinations added must be of the same country of origin as the countries entered in the Returning From unless you have Loop's Cross-Border shipping functionality setup.
Under the Policy Zone, click manage destinations under the returning to heading
Add the new destination(s) from the drop-down
If you would like more information on Location Based Return Policies, click here.
Note: If you are only setting up one destination, or are setting up multiple for Loop to rate shop between without rules for where specific products need to go, you are all done at this step. Feel free to add any more destinations you need from here.
Setting Up Product Rules
If you need specific products to go back to specific places, follow these steps to create those rules:
- We recommend activating Enforce product rules on the main Destinations page if using product rules. This ensures that customers will be able to easily create multiple returns in the case that they are returning products that need to go to separate places. If this is not turned on, any return containing products that need to go to different places will be sent to the default destination.
- Either Edit an existing destination or create a new destination as explained above to pull up the destination configuration screen.
- Click Add rule to begin building in product rules.
- Set your receiving options in the box marked Choose. Your options are:
- Receive all. The products you designate must go to this destination, but this destination can also receive other products.
- Do not receive. The products you designate cannot be sent to this destination.
- Only receive. This destination must receive the products you designate, and only the products you designate. These products can not be routed to any other destinations. Only receive can not be combined with other rule types, though multiple Only receive rules (e.g. one for specific products, one for a vendor) can be created.
This will be the most common rule used for dropshipping merchants.
- Note: Receive all and Only receive are mutually exclusive. If a rule is created using one of these options, the other will be greyed out. Setting up conflicting rules across destinations (e.g. two destinations set to Only receive for the same product type) will cause that return to be routed to the default destination.
- Pick your filter of choice. Your options are:
- Product Type. This is as configured in your Shopify site.
- Vendor. Products can have a vendor associated with them in Shopify. This is common for dropshippers.
- Product ID. Allows you to pick specific products in your catalog to follow this rule.
- Note: If a product falls under multiple rules due to vendor or product type association, and product ID, Loop will prioritize the product ID rule.
- Add the products that correspond to the filter you chose in step 5. Loop will pull in a list of items (products, product types, vendors) from Shopify for you to select from.
- Click Save to complete setup.
Adding or Editing Destinations with CSV
Some merchants need to update destinations and destination product rules fairly regularly. To make that process faster and easier, you can now import and export all of your destinations and related product rules via CSV.
To add destinations via CSV, do the following:
- If you don't have any yet, add 1 or 2 destinations through the Loop Admin dashboard.
- Export the file that contains your existing destinations.
- Use the format of this document to add any new destinations.
- Note: when adding a new destination, leave the Destination ID field blank. Loop will populate this automatically.
- Import the new file.
Likewise, if you just need to edit an existing destination, export the file, make the necessary change, then import the new file.
A few important notes:
- Importing a new CSV will fully overwrite any existing data. Best practice is always to export what you already have, leave any destinations that need to stay the same alone, and just add any changes that need to be made.
- When adding a new destination via CSV, leave the Destination ID field blank. Loop will populate this field for you.
- Don't use any special characters (Ã,Ę,Ô; etc.) in the destinations. Our system can't read special characters, so you'll likely see this error message:
Using Destinations in Location-Based Return Policies
As you are setting up your return policy (or return policies, if you are working with multiple locations), you'll see that you have the ability to add the destinations you set up to the policies you're creating. As you add new destinations in the Destinations tab, they will become available to add to return policies as possible return destinations.
Multiple destinations can be applied to one return policy.
One destination can be added to multiple return policies, and therefore apply to multiple locations. Keep in mind that any destination associated with a policy in another country will not allow for label printing. Loop does not currently support cross-border shipping.
How destinations work with an International Lite return policy:
- You can add a destination that is already linked to another policy to an International Lite policy.
- Customers affected by an International Lite policy will be sending a package across borders, so they will not receive a label at the end of the process.
- Loop is not printing a labels for the customer, so we are not rate shopping a label on your behalf. We recommend adding only one destination to an International Lite return policy.
How can I change which destination is our default?
This can be updated via CSV. Export the existing destinations. Open that file, change the Default Destination field for the old default to No, and the field for the new default to Yes.
Keep in mind that the default destination designation only matters if you have built product rules, but do not have Enforce product rules turned on.
How can I configure more specific product/return rules for my Donation Center destination?
Donation rules and conditions can be optimized further by leveraging the Workflows functionality. By setting specific return conditions in Workflows, merchants can automatically send qualifying returns to their configured Donation Center.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions