In the bustling world of 2023 online shopping, ease and convenience are key. Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, is well aware of this fact and has always focused on enhancing the shopping experience for both merchants and their customers. Their latest update, the “Self Service Returns” feature, is yet another stride in this direction.

As any online shopper will tell you, returning products can be a hassle. With Self Service Returns, Shopify aims to change that. This simple yet effective tool allows customers to initiate their own returns, promising a smoother, hassle-free process.

How to get started

The first thing to do is to activate the Self Service Returns option in Shopify. 

Go to Settings -> Customer accounts and if you do not have the new customer accounts option, choose it and SAVE:  

Next up, scroll down to Self Service Returns and Turn On: 

Setting Up Return Rules

The second step is to go to Settings -> Policies and make sure to define the rules for returns:

  • What is the timeframe for the return: choose 14, 30, 90, unlimited or custom number of days
  • Who will pay for return shipping: customer, free return shipping, flat rate return shipping offered by the store
  • Do you charge a restocking fee?
  • What collections or products cannot be returned: sale items, accessories, swimwear are usually some examples that you can consider

Enabling these return rules will make it impossible for the client to request a return in their account for an order that does not meet these rules. If you are more flexible with your return policy, and you do not have a lot of return requests, our recommendation is to keep these return rules off. This will enable you to approve or disprove each return request manually. 
The return requests will be displayed in your Shopify backend in the Home section. 

Email Notification

You may want to edit the content of the email that goes out to the client when their return is approved. 
Go to Settings -> Notifications and scroll down to Returns: 

You can edit each email, but the one we recommend paying close attention to, is the Return request confirmation.
If you are not offering a return label, you would need to edit the text as the default email content says:
“Your return was approved
We will send you additional information to complete the return.”

You will want to edit this text to say:

“Your return was approved
Please ship the item back to: YOUR ADDRESS

Please make sure to include your order number along with your first and last name on an enclosure in your returning package. Neglecting to do so will delay the processing of your refund.”
You can also add important information about how the client should return the item, what the refund timeframe is, etc

Self-Service Returns For The Visitors

Now that you made all the changes in the backend, it is time to make sure the client understands, sees, and uses this functionality.

To initiate a return, a customer needs to log into their account. Make sure you add the new customer accounts URL link to the return policy or directly in the footer so clients can easily find it. For example, you can add a new link in one of the footer menus, saying: “Request a return” and link it to the new customer account. 

To find this URL, go to Settings -> Customer accounts and scroll down to the bottom and you will see the URL and a Copy link.


You can choose what is the best way to insert this link on the website: 

  • Either in the return policy: To initiate a return, click here (and add the customer accounts URL as a link on the click here text)
  • Either directly in the footer menu by adding a section called: Request a return
  • Both

For better customer experience, you can add the self-service return instructions in your return policy:

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.
  1. 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.

To customize the new pages for self-serve and submit requests, you only need to make sure your checkout branding is customized as they are using the same settings.

For Shopify merchants, this new functionality not only promises to ease administrative burdens but also helps improve customer relations and trust, key elements in the increasingly competitive e-commerce world.

If you need our assistance with setting up Self-Service Returns or any functionality on your Shopify store, our team is here to help! Feel free to reach out to us!