In this post I will talk about item status and how they can be used to handle a return request. Item Status when used right can prove to be really useful in handling a request and keeping customers updated about the progress of their return request.

What is Item Status?

A return request consists of items and each item can have a unique status. Refer to the screenshot.

RMS - Different Item Status

As you can see Admin can assign status to each item in the return request. Each Status can also trigger a pre-defined notification email.

The App comes with a few pre-defined status but you may define unlimited number of status. 

Creating Item Status

Creating an Item status is pretty straight forward. Go to Settings->Items Status and create a new Status. You can also define a Notification mail which will be triggered at the time of status change. Refer to the Screenshot

RMS - Create Item Status

The Notification mail supports following keys.

  • [order-number] – Shopify Order Number
  • [item-status] – Item Status
  • [shopify-order-status] – Shopify Order Status
  • [customer-name] – Name of the Customer
  • [shop-name] – Name of the Shop
  • [product-name] – Name of the Product
  • [product-sku] – SKU of the Product
  • [rmanumber] – RMA Number

How to utilize Item Status?

A feature is good only if it solves customer problem. The Items status feature is quite powerful and if used right it can prove to be more than handy.

Lets try to understand the concept of Item status and how it can handle various use cases.

Lets say a customer has filed a return request for 3 items ;  A, B and C.  Here are a different cases and how to use item status in such cases

Case 1. Approving 2 items and rejecting 1 item

So the customer has returned 3 items, you receive the items in your warehouse and mark all three items as received.  The status change will also trigger notifications mails if any.  However after inspection you find that item A and B are in good condition while item C is damaged.

So you can now mark the status of item A and B as Return Processed / Refund Processed or whatever the custom status you have defined for a successful return.  You can then mark item C as Return denied.

Case 2. Difference in Inspection time

So you have received the items but you need to more item to inspect one item. A and B are inspected by your staff , however Item C needs to be inspected by the manufacturer. In this case you can keep the customer in the loop by assign the status “Pending Manufacturer Inspection” to item C. Customer can be notified that inspecting item C will take more time. In the meantime Item A and B can be inspected and the return can be processed.

Case 3. Items received at different times

This can happen if a particular item is of high value and customer send it via a separate shipping provider.  In this case you can mark the item as received as in when you receive them. The triggered notification mail will keep customer in the loop.

Case 4. All items received at same time, All returns approved

This is a case where all items are received simultaneously and all returns are approved. This is the simplest case. Simply assign respective status to each item and process the request.

So you see that assigning different status to item lets us handle different use cases.  The RMS App assigns status to each item and not to the return request, this allows it to handle various use cases while maintaining  the ease of use.