Skip to main content

What to do when customers buy online, refund in store

Along with Buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), Buy online, return/refund in store (BORIS) also represents the starting point for your retail journey into an omnichannel strategy.

In this article, let’s make the “Buy online, refund in store” process become hassle-free by knowing the steps to complete an online purchase refund.

Know the refund possibility in your selling activity

With online purchases, you don’t know what will happen after you ship an order. Packages pass through many hands during their journey to the customer. They can be torn or damaged. Or, customers simply don’t like what they get. Though no one can deny the success of online selling, it always comes down to how retailers can handle online purchase refunds.

If customers aren’t fully satisfied with their online purchase, you as a retailer would want to offer them an exchange or refund. If a suitable replacement cannot be found for an online return request, your other option is to refund the order.

Usually, a buyer must return the items before he or she gets a refund; however, it is up to the seller to do the refund before or without receiving the returned product. For example, if a buyer claims that they didn’t receive the item they bought online, then obviously they cannot return it.

Returing clothing

Prepare for future refund scenarios

There are many possibilities related to refund that you as a retailer need to be aware of, especially when you sell your product online. Preparing for future refund scenarios helps you design a better policy and become active in your operations.

Design a refund policy

At some point, most retail businesses will need to figure out a solution for online product refunds that balances the benefits for both you and your customers.

Why refund policy for online products?

Having a clear refund policy can instantly make your store seem more professional and trustworthy, which encourages customers to buy from you. Think of it from a consumer’s perspective — if you can’t find a store’s refund policy when shopping online, would you really trust them and want to buy goods or services from them?

Even if you don’t offer refunds, just state it clearly on the website so that customers know what your policy is. Whether you accept refunded products at stores or not, your online website should have at least a few clauses on refunds.

Magento Order Management speeds up fulfillment process

Refund policy balances the benefits between retailers and customers

What to include in a refund policy?

To help make things clearer, you should break the policy into sections: refunds, exchanges, shipping, initiating the refund or exchange, and cancellation.

Even if you include your refund policy as part of your Terms and Conditions, and you don’t have a separate Refund Policy, you should still include these clauses or information addressing each point.

Common refund conditions

  • Exceptions for faulty items
  • Liability
  • Time limitations

These are to keep your business away from fraudulent activities and lower the rate of receiving too many refunds.

Refund methods

You should specify how you’ll process the refund. For example, how the customer will get their money back. There are a few options here. You can refund the money back onto the credit or debit card the customer paid with, or you can offer store credit or put the refund onto a gift card.

Product exchange helps build customer loyalty

Refund methods at offline store

Draft and publish the policy content

If you run an eCommerce store and sell goods or services to customers at physical stores, you need to draft a refund policy and publish it on your website either as a standalone document or as part of your Terms and Conditions agreement. This is the only way to ensure that customers understand their rights before they make a purchase from you.

Include the link to your policy in some of the most visited places throughout your website to save customer’s time going back and forth. A few key places to list your policy include:

  • Your website footer
  • FAQ page
  • Product page
  • Cart
  • Checkout
  • Website live chat
HM return and refund policy

H&M’s return policy page includes Refund policy

What technology retailers apply for “Buy online, refund in store”

Many small and medium-sized, even big retailers have been so successful in creating an “omnichannel” experience for their customers. This strategy is no longer an overwhelming task because there are quite a few professional omnichannel systems in the market to get started. Retailers can easily apply an omnichannel strategy to the refund process to save more time and labor costs.

To do that, they store all retail data in one centralized system and make sure all sales-generated sources such as the website or point of sales will connect to this pool. That way they provide staff access to both online and offline order details and refund at stores for online purchases.

Magento ERP to boost sales and save costs

Find a POS system that allows you to refund online orders at stores

For example, Magento retailers can use the RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) feature for their online system, then connect data to the POS to get an online-offline refund workflow. A Magento-native POS will help streamline all online order information across channels, allowing staff to refund at stores with ease.

The process to complete an online order refund at stores

To complete this type of refund, the process will take place on point of sale channels (POS). This is the software the store staff often use to do selling activities including return and refund.
An omnichannel POS system will help retailers manage data from all channels. That means all the online orders will sync to the point of sale channel as well. It allows the staff to find online sales invoices or customer information to process the refund.
Then the staff can start evaluating the goods based on the refund policy.
If the refund is needed, they’ll need to refund the order via the mentioned payment methods.

refund offline for online orders process

The cashier will have to return the payment to the customer. Different POS system might offer the following options:

Refund by original payment method

Most customers prefer to get a refund via the original payment method. Some POS systems let you issue payment while others require extra steps on the payment device. If you are using a terminal to process transactions, make sure your cashiers get the training they need to handle it efficiently.

Refund by cash 

If the customer paid for the original order by cash, they might expect a cash refund. In some cases where the POS system cannot return the payment to the original credit card, business owners might also opt for this method.

Refund by reward points/store credit/gift card

Some stores offer refunds in the form of points, store credit, or gift card. Cashier can add the refund value to the customer’s account or gift card balance. The customer can redeem store credit/gift card the next time they purchase from the store.

Turn customers into regulars with Magento Loyalty Program

Refund by store credits or gift cards to keep customers coming back

In summary

Retailers can turn in-store product refunds from an online order into a good shopping experience for customers, and get valuable data along the way. 

An efficient POS system is the key to implement and optimize this process. It should help you handle order history, payment, customer, loyalty programs, and more. It needs to work seamlessly with all parts of your system. Your next steps should be working out a list of requirements for a POS system, and research providers accordingly.

If you’re a Magento merchant looking to build an online order refund into your business, you can book a free consultation with our retail experts to save time. We’ll work together to build a tailor-made refund solution for your business.

What is Magento POS

A Magento POS (point of sale) system is software integrated with the Magento platform to synchronize data between your online and offline stores and facilitate retail operations. Magestore POS is a web-based and Magento-native POS which requires at least one Magento website to work.

Who needs Magento POS system

The Magento POS system is developed for retailers with both Magento eCommerce websites and physical stores, and want to use the Magento website as a centralized place to manage all sales data and sell both online and offline.

Some features of Magento POS system

A basic Magento POS can work as a cash register to create orders, add discounts and taxes, print receipts, and manage sales. But a complete Magento POS system can assist you with more advanced tasks, such as inventory control, supplier management, loyalty programs, etc.

45-minute Live Demo

Let us show you how it all works

After you complete the registration form & schedule a meeting with us, we'll contact to ask for your confirmation. This demo session is completely FREE & requires no commitments.

1. Where we'll discuss

We do screen sharing, so the demo will be conducted using Google Meet.

2. What we'll do

Our specialists will guide you through the POS solution and answer any questions you have. All to see if our POS system fits your business requirements.

3. What you'll get

  • A LIVE demo session to see how Magestore POS works
  • A FREE demo site to explore every product feature
  • A FREE consultation with our expert to discuss the best-fit solution for your business.

4. Additional information

  • A demo typically lasts for 45 minutes, but we can adjust the duration based on your needs
  • No preparation required but it's nice to have your requirements clear
  • Additional team members are welcome to join
  • If you want to see how Magestore POS works in reality, you can contact one of our customers and ask for their experience
  • Magestore doesn't do cold-calling, we only contact you on request.

Magestore | POS for Magento

About the Magento platform

1. What is Magento?

Magento is an open-source platform that helps retailers create eCommerce websites, released on March 31, 2008, by Varien and developed on Zend Framework. In 2018, Adobe acquired Magento with a price of $1.68 billion. There are currently about 270,000 eCommerce websites running on Magento in 2022.

2. Why do retailers choose Magento?

Most of our customers say Magento is speedy and more customizable than others; it is suitable for medium and large enterprises or fast-growing businesses with complex requirements/customizations.

Not sure if you're using Magento, check your website here!

3. What to do next?

  • If you are new to Magento or searching for eCommerce platforms, you can explore more about Magento in this article.
  • If you are looking for Magento website development services, please reach our dedicated service team here.
  • If you've already had a Magento website and are searching for a POS system, please close this pop-up and continue exploring.