Articles on: Returns Management

Generate Shipping Documents for Your Returns

Plans: Pro, Premium, Enterprise Platforms: Shopify, Magento 1, Magento 2, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and more


Packing slips are provided with return labels that act as a paper trail or record of what should be in the shipment. They usually contain RMA numbers, order numbers, product SKUs, product quantities, return reasons, and ship from and ship to location addresses. In AfterShip Returns, you can edit, and auto-generate packing slips under the Returns shipping settings and show them on the returns page and in the request approval emails for certain return methods.

You can also provide additional shipping documents along with the packing slips when certain product types are included in the return package.

What you’ll learn

In this tutorial, we will discuss:

Enable packing slips
Edit packing slips
Append additional shipping documents
Select return methods
Customer experience

Enable packing slips

Log into your AfterShip Returns account > Navigate to Ship and Track > Returns Shipping
Move the toggle to the right to generate packing slips with the return labels automatically

If the customer opts for the Ship with a return label return method, choose between printing the packing slip and return label on a single page or separate pages, as shown below:

Put packing slip and return label on separate pages

Put packing slip and return label on one-page

Additional considerations

When the user selects to display the QR code only to their shoppers, the packing slip will be auto-generated and the shopper will have access to download the packing slip separately.
The Packing Slip will only display the Ship from address when the return method is Ship with the carrier customers choose or Return to a retail store.
If the customer opts for Ship with the carrier customer chooses or Return to a retail store return method, the packing slip will be auto-generated and accessible to shoppers via email notification or on the returns page.

Edit packing slips

Plans: Premium, Enterprise

You can customize your packing slips to include important customer and order information for a smooth returns experience.

Click Edit packing slip to access the packing slip editor
Edit the following sections to tailor the layout of the packing slip as per your needs

a. Under the Header section,

You can upload the image file of the brand logo to display it on the header of the packing slips. Configure the image size and set the alignment on the packing slip
You can edit the title text of the packing slip with various merge tags to auto-populate relevant RMA information
Select the checkbox for the RMA number to populate the barcode with the AfterShip Returns Center RMA number
Select the checkbox for the Order number to populate the barcode with the eCommerce platform order number
Currently, a packing slip will only list 10 items within a single RMA request. So, if there are more than 10 items within a single RMA request, the excess items will be truncated.

b. Under the Shipping address section,
You can control whether the packing slip should display the Ship from address and Ship To address of the return package

c. Under the Shipment items section,
You will be able to control whether the SKU barcode should be displayed on the item list. Select the checkbox to show the SKU barcode on the packing slip to increase warehouse handling efficiency.

d. Under the Notes section,
Add in additional text depending on your use cases to provide supporting information for both your customers and your warehouse team
Use the available merge tags to insert dynamic content. Merge tags automatically extract unique user, order, and carrier information from the AfterShip Returns database according to the return status

Supported merge tags

|CUSTOMER_NAME| : Display the name of your customer
|ORDER_NUMBER|: Display the associated order number of a return request
|RMA_ID|: Display the unique RMA ID of a return request
|STORE_NAME|: Display your store name

|CONTACT_US|: Display your "Contact Us" URL or email

To change your Contact Us URL or email in AfterShip Returns admin

Go to Returns Page in AfterShip Returns admin
Click Customize on the upper right-hand side of the page
Under Theme settings, move to Footer > Page links > Contact us
Add the new link and click Save

You can either add your store’s Contact Us page link or input your support email address

|RESOLUTION|: Display the return resolution selected by the shopper

Provide additional shipping documents

Plans: Premium, Enterprise

For products, like Battery, Liquid, Powder, Glass, Spray, Magnet, etc. that require extra safety and measures during shipping, you can upload additional shipping documents required by the carrier to be included in the return package by customers.

AfterShip Returns automatically detects if a return shipment contains products that require these additional shipping documents and will append the document as a separate page in the return label/packing slip PDF file generated for your customer. (see image 'Shipping document` under Use case)

Click Upload document

Add the name of the document you are uploading
Define Conditions based on which the additional document will be appended for the return requests. The Conditions represent the eligibility criteria for generating this document with the packing slip.

The following conditions are currently available in AfterShip Returns.

Product typeInput product types as defined in your eCommerce platform
Product tagInput product tags as specified in your eCommerce platform
SKUAdd SKUs of the products as set in your eCommerce platform

The availability of the conditions mentioned above varies from eCommerce platform to platform. See this section.

Click Add condition and select the condition you want to add from the dropdown
Press the Enter button on your keyboard after entering values for conditions to separate them
To delete a condition, select the trash bin icon to the right of each condition

Merchants can select between

a. TRUE if All conditions are met. This setting is an AND statement that will trigger the corresponding action when all conditions are met

b. TRUE if Any condition is met. This setting is an OR statement that will trigger the corresponding action when any defined conditions are met

Upload the document/label PDF file

Make sure you have clearly outlined in the return instructions under the return routing rule how the customer should apply the additional shipping document/labels to their return package for specific products.

Use case

When shipping items that contain lithium-ion batteries, the carrier requires a UN3481 label to be included in the shipment.

As a merchant, I will put a UN3481 product tag on all of my products in my store. In AfterShip Returns, I will leverage the Provide Additional Documents function to set up a product condition and upload the UN3481 label pdf file, so any time my customer is returning an item with the UN3481 product tag, AfterShip Returns will append the UN3481 label pdf file to the return label and packing slip. I will also make it clear on the return instructions and the packing slip note that shopper must attach this UN3481 label on the outside of the box they are returning the item with, otherwise, their refund or exchange request will be delayed.

Shipping document

Supported platforms for conditions

Product tag conditions are available for Shopify, Magento 1, and WooCommerce
Product type conditions are available for Shopify, Magento 1, 2, and BigCommerce

The product type is referred to as the product category in BigCommerce.

SKU conditions are available for all platforms

Select return methods

Select return methods when the aforementioned shipping documents are shown to the customers.

Ship with a prepaid return label
Ship with the carrier customers choose
Return to a retail store

Hit the Save button

Customer experience

The customers can view and download the shipping documents from the two locations where they will appear after the return request submission.

1. Return request status page

The customer will see the link for the packing slip named View invoice on the return request status page. Once they click on it, a new window with a PDF of the packing slip will open. The customer can download the shipping documents from there right away.

2. Return confirmation email

The customer can also access and download the shipping documents from the return confirmation email they will receive after submitting the return request.

Supported platforms

Shopify, Magento-1, Magento-2, WooCommerce, Bigcommerce, Wix, Walmart-us, Squarespace, Spree, Shopline, Shoplazza, ShipStation, SalesForce, Prestashop, Decathlon - Prestashop, NetSuit, Jushuitan, Google-Shopping, Fluent-Commerce, Ecwid-v3, Ebay, Cscart, 3dCart, AmeriCommerce, Amazon, Cdiscount, Shopware, Commerce API, CSV Import, Klaviyo, and Gorgias

Updated on: 10/04/2024

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