No matter how successful your Magento store might be, returns are natural. But they can easily become real ache in your back, create big hassle and destroy customer trust in the blink of an eye. Good news, Magento Marketplace offers some valuable solutions to save merchants from the unnecessary troubles. What features to look for in a Magento 2 extension that manages store credits and refunds? Let’s figure it out.
What objectives can you reach by introducing store credits and refunds?
Wow! Did you know that not less than 30% of items ordered in eCommerce stores get returned? With that in mind, a Store Credits and Refunds extension can be of much value. Take a look at the main objectives such an extension can help you achieve:
- cut down losses,
- keep money within the store,
- stimulate sales.
When it comes to the module functionality, store credits can be added in the following cases:
- request for a product refund/return,
- as means of complaints resolution or dealing with negative reviews by a Customer Relations Manager.
Based on these goals, here is a set of features to look for in such a module.
2 Main Features for Magento 2 Store Credit and Refund Extension
Tons, literally, there can be tons of reason for a return. To the same extent as the inquiries can be well-grounded, the customer can ask for a refund for the items that are not in the fully salable condition any longer or require repackaging. Basically, you’ve got two options to choose from: refuse a refund or accept it and suffer certain financial losses. Store credits offer a third option and create more flexibility. Now, you not only get to substitute the refunds with store credits to cut down losses but also keep money within the store. Thus, the two main features are admin-based, they are as follows:
Issuing Product Refunds Manually
The shopper can become really anxious when waiting for a refund. The bad thing is that no matter how fast you may try to return the customers’ money, the speed of the whole process entirely depends on the payment provider. The wait time can certainly taint your business’s reputation. That’s a whole new ball game when the buyers see a refund immediately appear in their accounts!
Such refunds are normally made by the Store Admin or a Customer Support Manager following the shopper’s request. This is typically carried out from the Order View by creating a Credit Memo.
Additionally, the Store Admin has a couple of options, i.e. to return:
- a full amount of the refund in store credits,
- a part of the payment amount,
- more than the shopper has spent.
Thus, the number of store credits that should be assigned get entered manually. Whether your refund the full amount or a part of the product cost, store credits positively resonate with the shoppers. They create a feeling of finding the bargain by allowing partially or fully cover the expenses.
Issuing Refund Manually as Means for Conflict Resolution
Have you been looking for more ways to effectively bury the hatchet when dealing with the dissatisfied customer? A Store Manager can offer and manually add store credits as means of dealing with negative reviews and customer complaints. Another personalized approach to the customer that paves a way for winning the buyer over.
As you can see from the example offered above, the Store Admins can use checkboxes to select the customer(s) they’ll give credits to.
Note that the ability to offer credits to the large group of the users (that have been selected based on certain criteria) covers business-specific marketing campaigns. Such functionality is normally unavailable in this group of Magento extensions as no such aims are pursued. Here, specific transactions are used to add store credits to the certain customers, and they are unrelated to the customer orders in no way.
Bonus Functionality: Auto Refund
When studying the modules, I’ve noticed that a refund made in a mouse click is often called an automatic one – a so-called ‘one-click refund’. Well, that’s basically a regular refund, isn’t it? Why would anyone want to map it out as a separate feature? The process of issuing a refund does require the customer to address the Customer Support Team, as well as specific actions from the Store Admin.
However, in my opinion, auto refund feature would be a nice-to-have as it could allow the customer to initiate a refund without having the Store Admin involved. This would allow for saving the time when dealing with such inquiries and keep the store’s costs down.
Unfortunately, auto refund in this context is currently unavailable in the existing Store Credits & Refunds extensions for Magento 2. This feature has been actualized by some developers of the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) and Store Credits & Refunds in tow:
What is it about?
For a certain range of products, such as downloadable products including digital ones, it’d be worthwhile to cover the auto refund functionality. The store credits can be automatically added to the shoppers’ balance after their clicking the ‘Instant Refund’ button, for instance. This button can be conveniently located in the section with orders in the customer’s account.
The rule (conditions) editing must be available for the Store Manager. This enables the admins to restrict the customer’s ability to ask for a refund on their own. This can be limited to the product type, cost, category, etc.
For example, some online merchants offer the ability to return a certain part of the money if the buyer is dissatisfied. This is actualized with the help of the ‘Guaranteed Partial Money Back’ button. After clicking such a button, the customer automatically receives from 25% to 75% of the amount paid in store credits. When a full refund is required, you can choose to have the Customer Support Department involved.
Now, let’s consider additional functionality. Some developers include several specific features to the Store Credits & Refunds extensions in order to achieve business-specific marketing objectives, such as:
- stimulating sales,
- improving retention,
- building loyalty by offering store credits as an incentive (this functionality is mostly available in the Reward Points extensions).
Let’s consider some of the most valuable marketing features.
4 Sales Stimulating Features for Magento 2 Store Credit and Refund Extension
The following features are admin-based:
Email Notifications About Credit Balance Updates
The buyers love to be informed, don’t they? I personally, do. This feature allows for keeping the cust informed about the balance, as well as show that the offered store credits are of value.
On Store Credit Indication
This is all about keeping the customer informed. When choosing the extension, make sure it allows indicating the number of store credits on the frontend, as well as display the discounted prices on all product pages. If t
Credit Bonuses Based on Specified Rules.
Actually, this feature is a distinctive one for the Points Rewards extensions. Normally, the merchant is offered to set several rules, which will trigger offering store credits, or points. These rules may include such occasions as Birthday, newsletter subscription, placing an order, registration, and more.
Restore Redeemed Store Credits/Subtract Earned Credit After Refund
Basically, these are two different features, but they are closely related:
- Restore Redeemed Credit Automatically When Order Is Refunded
Here, the customer’s balance gets refilled if the order was fully or partially paid with store credits. This functionality is basic.
- Subtracting Redeemed Credit When Order is Refunded
Here, the customer’s balance gets refilled if the order was fully or partially paid with store credits, but in case of the real refund, the given by rules store credits get subtracted.
4 Store Credits Management Features for Magento 2 Store Credit and Refund Extension
And finally, let’s consider store credits management on the level of the Store Admin and the customer. This means that specific rules for issuing store credits must exist, and they actually do.
Pay with Store Credits Fully/Partially
Whether the customer received their store credits after asking for a refund or as an incentive, they get a chance to continue shopping for a replacement product right away. Or, postpone online purchases for the next time. This feature is carried out on the user level.
Tax and Shipping Fee Coverage
It’s not news that free shipping is the number 1 incentive for 90% of shoppers. I assume taxes are in the same league. That’s where the ability to set up store credits to cover shipping and taxes would be handy. Surely, not a game changer, but certainly a nice-to-have.
Ability to Purchase and Share Credits
Store credits are also a great gift shopping tool. The ability to purchase store credits within your online store and share them with the friends and family has been proved to resonate well with the online buyers and motivate them to return to the store.
In fact, this functionality seems to be well borrowed from the Gift Cards extensions. But in the Store Credits & Refunds extensions, credits buying and sharing seem to be of value when offered together, and useless one without another, or not? Selling store credits can be great for stimulating sales. For example, an online store may offer to purchase store credits by the means of creating a ‘Store Credit Product’. Also, the customer can be offered to buy a fair amount of store credits with a fat discount, such as purchasing store credits equal to $300 for $250.
Basically, this feature can be regarded both as a management and sales stimulating tool.
Credit Usage Reports
As obvious as it might sound, collecting data is critical in eCommerce. This will not only let the merchant and the customer keep the effectiveness of the activities under check but let them furnish any required corrections and make the necessary improvements.
This feature is carried out both on the admin and user levels and is available practically in every Store Credits & Refunds extension, which makes it a part of the basic functionality. Here, the customer gets to keep a full track of their store credits in the ‘Customer credit transaction history’ grid, the Store Admin – in the ‘Users credits transactions grid’.
Used as a compensation for poor experience or whatever other reason for a return, store credits have proved themselves to decrease losses and keep the revenue within your Magento-based store. When choosing a solution for your online store, make sure to have a good sense of your business objectives and who the extension will be for – the Admin, or the Customer, or both. Then, study the modules’ functionality.
Hopefully, you’ll find these thoughts useful when selecting a third-party extension that will complement your business requirements to the full.
In your opinion, are there other must-have features for such an extension? Please, do share.