Workflows for Managing Returns + Your Warehouse

Overview

Though some of our merchants manage their own returns when they come back to the warehouse, most rely on another team to check returns as they come back.  Those merchants need a way to effectively transfer information about returns, whether that be through an RMA or another method.

This article covers two ways to manage this workflow between Loop and a warehouse receiving returns: 

  • A manual process, using Loop’s reporting function.
  • An automated process that leverages the Loop API to integrate directly into a warehouse management system (WMS).  Because it requires access to the Loop API, this approach is only available to Loop Plus merchants.

Manual Workflow

  1. Customers submit returns in Loop, receive a label (or confirm that they have a pre-printed label, if the merchant is using them) and are prompted to return the item to the designated warehouse.
  2. In regular intervals, merchant's CX team will access Loop Reporting to generate and download an ASN Report.  The length of this interval will depend on merchant-specific return volume and other considerations.
  3. CX will use ASN Report to generate an RMA within the WMS.  Alternatively, the ASN report can be sent to the warehouse directly to generate RMAs from that end.  This is up to the merchant operations team.
  4. The ASN report includes the following details (among others):
    1. Shopify Order ID
    2. Shopify Order Name
    3. Product
    4. SKU
    5. Barcode (if applicable)
    6. Label Information
  5. If using automated processing events: Loop will provide the outcome to the customer based on Processing Events set in Settings > Return Policies.  
  6. If Loop is set to restock based on processing events: For Exchange, Store Credit, and Shop Now outcome returns, the product will be marked as returned and restocked through Loop when the package is marked "Delivered".  Returns for a refund will be marked as returned and restocked when the refund is provided to the customer.
  7. Warehouse will receive package and complete quality control measures.
  8. Warehouse team will provide necessary details to CX (typically via a similar spreadsheet to the ASN Report).
  9. If processing events are set to manual: CX will manually process returns in Loop.
  10. If Loop is set to restock manually: The product will be marked as returned and restocked when the return is processed in the above step - regardless of return type.
  11. If Loop is not set to restock at all: CX will manually mark products as returned and restocked in the relevant system.

Common Integration Flow, Loop + Warehouse Management System

  1. Customers submit returns in Loop, receive a label (or confirm that they have a pre-printed label, if the merchant is using them) and are prompted to return the item to the designated warehouse.
  2. Using Loop's API, the WMS will automatically pull return data from Loop at regular intervals. This data will be used to automatically create RMAs. Details include (among others):
    1. Shopify Order ID
    2. Shopify Order Name
    3. Product
    4. SKU
    5. Barcode (if applicable)
    6. Label Information
  3. If using automated processing events: Loop will automatically provide the outcome for the customer based on where the label is, in accordance with the processing events as set in Settings > Return Policies.
  4. If processing events are set to manual: Next steps will depend on your API configuration.
    1. Typically, merchants with a warehouse integration that are not using automatic processing events will mark returns as processed in their WMS, which will automatically drive returns processing in Loop.
    2. If this is not the case, it’s possible that the integration is being used solely to generate RMA’s, and the CX team will need to process returns manually from the Loop admin.
  5. Warehouse will receive return packages and approve the RMA via the WMS, triggering an inventory update, which will in turn update Shopify’s inventory record.  Loop should not be set to restock returned products if an integration is in place.

Additional Considerations

The following items need to be considered regardless of the type of workflow:

  • How will the warehouse team flag problem returns for CX to blacklist?
  • A very small percentage of returns may end up “stuck” in Loop.  These returns will end up in the Needs Review tab of your Loop Returns dashboard, and are generally due to exchanges where the product has gone out of stock in the time between the initial return request and the return being processed.  This will be discussed in greater detail during your training before going live.
  • If Loop is set up to restock products (check this setting in your General Settings), returns for a refund will always be marked as restocked at the time that those returns are processed.  This will happen whether refunds are being processed manually or automatically.

If you have any further questions regarding setting up your workflow in Loop, please reach out to us at support@loopreturns.com.