Shopify Doesn't Natively Support Canadian Return Labels
Shopify offers merchants the ability to create outbound shipping labels using a dozen different carriers for merchants in 7 different countries. Shopify merchants based in Canada can use Shopify’s account to generate Canada Post labels for their outbound shipments.
But what about returns?
Current Shopify Returns Options are Limited
Shopify currently only supports the ability to create return shipping labels within Shopify for merchants based in the United States.
Unfortunately, Shopify’s native integration with Canada Post for outbound shipping does not extend to return shipping labels. Canadian sellers are left to their own devices to figure out how to create return labels for their customers.
In This Guide
Return Label Options for Canadian Shopify Merchants
Luckily for Shopify stores based in Canada, there are several options available to create return shipping labels for your customers. Options range from manually generating and issuing return labels from a carrier website to automating your process using a dedicated returns management app.
Option #1 - Use a Shopify returns app that supports Canadian return labels
The Shopify app store hosts almost 8,000 third party apps that extend the base functionality of ReturnZap and allow you to customize your store in numerous ways. Several of these apps are focused on streamlining the customer returns process and allow Canadian merchants to generate return labels.
We may be biased, but we believe that ReturnZap is the best returns management app for creating Canadian return shipping labels.
With ReturnZap, you get a dedicated customer returns portal that you can embed directly into your Shopify storefront. ReturnZap allows you to create Canadian return labels using preferred carriers like Canada Post, Purolator, UPS and FedEx.
- Allows for automated creation of return labels using a variety of Canadian shipping carriers
- Immediate visibility to tracking information to see return progress
- Self service customer portal avoids the need for manual customer service integration
- Requires initial set up and configuration to match shop return policies and procedures
- Offering prepaid return labels incurs some costs, made worse because Canadian shipping prices can be very expensive
Option #2 - Manually purchase return labels and email to customers
If a dedicated Shopify returns app is not the right for, Shopify sellers based in Canada also have the option of manually managing customer return labels.
There are a few steps to accomplish this:
- Update your Shopify refund and return policy to outline the process you wish customers to follow. This usually involves emailing in to customer service explaining the need for a return and requesting an RMA and a return shipping label.
- Establish a shipping account with the carrier of your choice that supports Canadian return labels. ReturnZap recommends Canada Post.
- Get familiar with the process to initiate and purchase a return label on the Canada Post website
- For each return request, review the email and then purchase a return label on behalf of your customer directly with the carrier
- Make note of the tracking number and email the label to your customer
- No app required, can be handled entirely over email
- Gives sellers the ability to engage directly with customers and potentially avoid the need for a return
- Manual process with multiple steps involved
- Difficult to keep track of more than a small handful of return shipments
- Delays for customers while they wait for their return shipping labels
- Requires established shipping accounts with a carrier like Canada Post or Purolator
Option #3 - Manually purchase return labels and upload to Shopify
Shopify gives Canadian sellers the option to purchase return labels off platform and upload relevant information into Shopify.
To accomplish this, navigate to an order for one of your customers based in Canada. In the header, click “Return Items” and follow the instructions in the following page. It should look like the image below.
Shopify gives you a few options here:
- Upload a return label from a carrier like Canada Post or Purolator
- Add a direct link to an externally hosted return shipping label
- Copy and paste in the tracking number and shipping carrier for the package
- Optional – Create a return and issue a refund when shipping is not required for the item
- Same benefits of option #3 above
- Deeper integration within Shopify allows for more professional flow, automated communication within Shopify
- Allows sellers to input tracking information to monitor return progress back to them
- Has all the same manual drawbacks as the email workflow
- More opportunity for human error when uploading return label PDFs and copying and pasting tracking information
Option #4 - Require customers to arrange their own shipping
One way that Canadian sellers can manage their customer returns is to avoid the need to create return labels altogether and ask their customers to simply arrange their own shipping.
This is perhaps the simplest method, as it does not require any action on the part of the seller other than processing the return when it arrives.
- No need to worry about creating a return label upfront
- Cost is passed along to customer
- Easiest to implement, just needs to be incorporated into a Canadian store’s return policy
- Not very customer friendly
- Seller may wish to offer free return shipping, or give customers flexibility
- No visibility to inbound returns, getting return label tracking from customers is a pain and requires manual outreach
Canadian Shopify Merchants Have Options For Returns
Even though Shopify does not make it as easy for Canadian sellers to create return labels within the platform there are still several options available to streamline customer returns within Canada.
- Third party apps like ReturnZap automate this and create a customer friendly, automated workflow
- Canadian merchants can purchase return labels and issue them manually via email
- Purchased return labels can be uploaded directly into Shopify and associated with an order
- Merchants have the ability to pass return shipping responsibility on to their customers
No matter how you approach the logistics, offering a clear returns policy and a streamlined process is important and a clear differentiator when it comes to offering a top notch customer experience.