Swap Commerce is more than a returns platform. It is a tech company that helps brands and retailers transform returns from a cost centre to a revenue generation opportunity. It does this by delivering the only exchange-first returns portal coupled with capital to help businesses grow.

Swap currently works with around 50 brands using the eCommerce platform, Shopify. “By focusing on Shopify,” explains Swap’s Co-Founder Sam Atkinson, “we’ve been able to build a deep integration that our UK competitors don’t have. This means we can offer the brands we work with more functionality.”

The Challenge

When returns and exchanges platform Swap launched at the end of May 2022, it enjoyed early success with retailers. But one issue was becoming a major headache for its founders. While Swap was able to offer QR codes with some carriers, its previous shipping API provider couldn’t provide QR codes for Royal Mail parcels – approximately 75% of Swap’s transactions.

At a time when consumers are not only expecting full refunds, free returns and flexible drop-off points, they’re also looking for the convenience and eco-friendliness of a paperless downloadable QR returns code.

The need for a QR returns code comes after the increase in eCommerce post-pandemic when consumers now expect flexible return methods, as either they do not have a printer at home or the returns label is no longer being available in the original box. A QR code is essentially a returns label compressed in a digital barcode, which is emailed or downloaded to a user’s phone. Shoppers then display the QR code on their device at a drop-off location for it then to be scanned and printed there.

Sam said, “Not being able to offer a QR code for the label was the single biggest complaint we were getting from customers. They were used to accessing QR codes from the Royal Mail portal directly so they couldn’t understand why it wasn’t an option with Swap.”

This was a challenge for several brands working with Swap, including bamboo clothing retailer Boody, and premium menswear retailer Article. And, to add insult to injury, one retailer Swap was waiting to sign up in August said they’d only do so if Swap could provide a paperless option on all deliveries.

The Solution

Fortunately, a member of the Swap team was aware of Intersoft’s QR returns solution and recommended Sam get in touch.

“Integrating our platform with Intersoft’s API has been by far the quickest and easiest integration we’ve ever experienced. We started the process mid-August and were up and running smoothly by September 1st.”

“What made the onboarding process so easy was having our own dedicated account manager – something we don’t get with other delivery management software providers.”

Another major benefit of working with Intersoft is its speedy response to technical issues.

“We can’t afford to have an API going down and not being able to generate labels for our customers,” continues Sam. “We have to integrate with Intersoft efficiently. It’s not just a question of generating a label; that label must carry all the data, including the order number and whether it’s an exchange, credit or refund.”

“The shipping data generated triggers other workflows, so it was important for us to have that support when we were setting up with Intersoft rather than just being given the API documentation and being left to our own devices.”

Swap has now moved almost all their brand and retail customers over to Intersoft to benefit from the paperless QR code labels and is confident that when they integrate other carriers in addition to Royal Mail, it will be an easy process with Intersoft.

Boody Returns Portal
Boody Returns Portal

Retailer flexibility over how to integrate their returns into Royal Mail

A further benefit to Swap’s retail customers is the option to use their own or Swap’s Royal Mail account.

“We don’t charge customers any extra for shipping labels,” says Sam. “In fact, we pass the savings we make on our Royal Mail rates onto our retailers. Generally, brands doing under 10,000 returns a year would be able to benefit from our rates.”

How brands and retailers work with Swap and Intersoft

In the same way that Intersoft made it easy to onboard Swap, Swap makes it easy for retailers to access its platform.

Swap sets up the retailer’s system in the back end of their online store. Then runs several tests for returns, exchanges and store credits, providing a corresponding label for each. Once all the tests are pulled through correctly, the retailer is ready to go live. Generally, the process takes around 2-3 weeks from signing up to going live.

“Swap has revolutionised our return process. Customer queries on returns are down by nearly 75 % from the same period last year and nearly 1 in 3 of our customers are opting for the return to Gift Card.” – Samuel Darcy, Director at Serge DeNimes, Swap customer

Swap is now looking at adding further carriers through Intersoft’s carrier management platform to support the automation of their QR returns solution.

Any retailer looking to take advantage of Intersoft’s returns solution should enquire or book a demo

“Swap has revolutionised our return process. Customer queries on returns are down by nearly 75 % from the same period last year and nearly 1 in 3 of our customers are opting for the return to Gift Card.”
Samuel Darcy
Serge DeNimes (Retailer)