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How to Manage Return Requests/ Order Refunds in BigCommerce?

Last updated: June 01, 2024
This article has been written and researched by our expert Avada through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology





If you want to sell your products on online platforms, establishing Return requests and Order refunds policy is a must to BigCommerce stores. When pursuing online products in BigCommerce, consumers can only rely on images, product descriptions, and reviews to make their buying decision. Without assurance that they can get an exchange or their money back if the product from online retailers does not meet their expectations, they can abandon their cart.

Therefore, an effective return policy reduces or eliminates the risk to the buyer. It is one of the most significant areas for customer complaints, and the greatest opportunities to win your customers over.

This article focuses on analyzing two important stages in the return process: return request and order refund; and how to manage these phases effectively in BigCommerce platforms.

Manage Return Requests in BigCommerce

Return Requests in BigCommerce is simply understood as a notification showing sellers a range of details about the return such as the item, order number, and customer name, as well as the date that it was submitted. Each returned item will show as a separate line item with its own Return ID. Besides, the Return Requests also can provide some additional details, such as the reason for return, requested action, and customer comments.

The reasons for Returning Products in BigCommerce

Fault or damaged

It is one of the most popular reasons the sellers have to face because goods can sometimes become damaged while in transit to your customer. Moreover, in the packing stage, the sellers can sometimes mistake the required product for another one which can cause the buyers to want a replacement or a refund.

Not as described

On online stores, customers only purchase products through product information, including good photos and detailed descriptions. Therefore, when they receive the products, they can realize the product doesn’t live up to its description and want to return it.

Poor quality

For many reasons, the customers can receive the products which are under the basic quality and want to return a product. This can be a problem for dropshipping operations because you do not have the opportunity to check the product before it goes to the customer.

Issues with delivery

There are many delivery issues that can happen, especially when you’re shipping overseas such as the products can be damaged in transit and even stolen or damaged. However, with the fast development of technology, there are many ways to prevent these problems like choosing reliable couriers, pre-paying taxes and duties, and using solutions with good tracking.

No longer want the item

Unfortunately, when receiving the products, customers can simply change their mind and no longer want (or need) the item they ordered. In this circumstance, they can consider returning the ordered products.

Manage Order Refunds in BigCommerce

Processing Return Requests

Customers will create a return request by logging into their customer account on the storefront, finding the order they wish to return and clicking the Return Items link. In there, they have to specify the Product Information, Return Reason, and Return Action. They also have the option to leave a comment to reflect their problems.

The Sample of Return Item Form

Simultaneously, a notification email is delivered to the seller’s dashboard when he/she logs into BigCommerce.

Then, click the dashboard notification or go to Orders › Return Request to see the full details.

The View Return Requests page will show you various details about the return such as the item, order number, and customer name, as well as the date that it was submitted. Each returned item will show as a separate line item with its own Return ID.

Based on the particular situation, the return request will result in a different outcome. Then the seller will change the status to whichever of the following applies:

  • Pending
  • Received
  • Return Authorized
  • Item(s) Repaired
  • Request Rejected
  • Cancelled

Next, customers will receive a notification email when you change the status of a return request and keep track with the product condition.

The Status of Return Request

Order Refunds Process in BigCommerce

Receiving and checking customer details

In the Refund Order view, the customer details section will display you the order’s billing information. This contains all the data that the customer provides during order placement such as the customer’s first and last name, email address, billing address, and their return rate. The return rate is an important field because it allows you to proactively detect and assess if the customer is exploiting your returns policy.

Summary the order

The order summary provides a short rundown of the order. You will see various pieces of information, such as the current status of the order, when it was created, whether it has been previously refunded, where it originated, and the shipping and tax totals.

Listing refundable products

In this stage, the seller must decide all the products that are able to refund. Depending on the mistake level, it can be a partial refund. refund the entire order or apply an order level refund. Note that order tax will not be re-calculated for an order level refund.

Particular refund (Refund individual items)

It happens when the seller wants to refund specific line items within the order. For this kind of refund, the sales tax to be refunded will be calculated by the tax provider and included in the total amount to refund to the customer.

Refund entire order

It is quite a quick and convenient way to refund all line items within the order. With this option, the sales tax to be refunded will be also calculated by the tax provider and included in the total amount to refund to the customer. If this is the first refund that is performed on the order, this option will appear as Refund the entire order. If you have previously refunded individual items on the order, then this option will appear as Refund all remaining items.

Apply an order level refund

This option is applied when the seller wishes to refund a custom value. Using this option means that the order tax will not be re-calculated.

Regardless of the refund type, the following product types can be refunded:

  • Physical Products
  • Downloadable Products
  • Gift Wrapping
  • Shipping Fees
  • Shipping Handling Fees
  • Purchased Gift Certificates In the case of orders with mixed product types, such as when a physical product and a gift certificate is purchased together in the same order, the two types of products will be displayed separately during the refund process.

Confirm refunds

Once you have chosen the type and quantity for a refund, you can proceed to Confirm Refund. In here, you can have a final preview of the refund before proceeding to process it.

Confirm Refund

Also, there is a section where you can choose how you wish to refund – credit card, debit card, store credit or other means of payment. Depending on the refund method, it can take up to 10 business days for the customer to get the reimbursement.

Refund Method

How to write a Return Policy in BigCommerce

Step 1: Providing a fixed requirements in Return Policy

Stipulate a time frame for returns

It’s vital to inform the consumers of how long they have to return an item. In general, 15 or 30 days is normal, but some companies prefer 90 days. Always remember that taking returns after that time would be detrimental to your company. If you don’t specify a refund period, consumers can continue to return goods months, or years after they’ve been bought. Thís is really bad news for online shop owners. Several major corporations have suffered losses as a result of open-ended return terms, prompting others to enact tougher laws.

Define the expected condition of returns

Accepting a refund if a consumer is suddenly disappointed with a product or if the product is faulty is a normal thing. However, accepting a refund after a product has been used, lost, or devalued in some manner by the consumer is very different.

Let’s establish the state a commodity must be in until a refund can be processed. Customers may try to return goods in unsellable condition if you fail to provide this material. You’ll be forced to take a loss in this situation.

List return requirements

If you have any fixed requirements before a return can be processed, you need to let customers know in advance. You might, for example, require that all returns be shipped unopened and/or in their original packaging. Customers may also be informed whether they need an authorization number, mailing address, or sales receipt, among other things. Whatever conditions you choose, state them clearly for all to see.

Step 2: Important points in writing a Return Policy in BigCommerce

Return policies must not only include the specifics, but they must also be presented in a straightforward, succinct way to avoid misunderstandings. Your return policy should be comprehensive but not too complex.

Keep the language simple and to the point

The basic concept is to write as though you were speaking. Complicated wording and/or legal terms in your return policies would just annoy your clients and lead to an uptick in service requests. This wastes time and resources that could have been avoided if the company had a great return policy in place.

Disclose any fees associated with returns

Who pays for return postage, restocking, and other costs if a customer needs to return anything they bought in your store? Things like this should be mentioned explicitly in the return policy. There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than getting a product they don’t want just to discover that they have to pay to return it. If you want your clients to bear financial responsibilities for returned goods, make sure your agreement expressly states so.

Promote your policy with customer’s feedbacks

It’s definitely a smart idea to put your refund policy on your website’s homepage. It is also recommended that you should do the following two points in addition to the homepage positioning. To begin, enclose a printed copy of your return policy with each shipment you send. Second, include your strategy in the email you deliver to consumers when they make a purchase.


Consider your Return policy to be an extension of your company. It should represent the core philosophies, mindset, and tone of your company. Your return policy could be the most popular page on your website. It’s not only a way to clarify the return policies and procedures, but it’s also a way to make a positive first impression. Do not hesitate to build up an effective return policy for your company from now!

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.

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