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PayPal offers Happy Returns post-purchase services to merchants

Integration offers in-person online return service to any business accepting PayPal

PayPal has integrated its Happy Returns exchange portal into its system, offering the reverse logistics software to merchants free of charge. (Photo: Happy Returns)

Since its purchase of returns firm Happy Returns in May 2021, PayPal has announced a few partnerships with retailers to expand its base. But on Monday, the company announced the first integration of Happy Returns technology into the PayPal ecosystem.

PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) merchants can now access Happy Return’s return and exchange portal software at no charge. In addition, the company said Ulta Beauty has now joined the Happy Returns Return Bar network, bringing to over 5,000 the number locations available to customers for dropping off online returns.

“As return volumes continue to increase, this is a crucial time for merchants to implement efficient and cost-effective solutions that better equip them to manage the growing role returns play in retail,” said David Sobie, vice president of Happy Returns. “By offering the Happy Returns software free of charge, we are delivering a post-purchase solution for merchants that helps them retain revenue and gives them a competitive edge in today’s market.”  

With returns now surpassing 20% of online orders and topping $218 billon in 2021, online and offline retailers are facing massive logistics problems. Happy Returns partners with leading e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and Solidus to facilitate online returns. Its Return Bar locations allows consumers to bring items to a physical location with no packaging or labels required.

Happy Returns also has a partnership with Staples to host Return Bar location inside its 1,000-plus U.S. locations.

Watch: Are logistics constraints here to stay?

The Happy Returns software automates returns and exchanges. Shoppers begin the return process on the merchants’ website or at to receive a QR code. They then bring the items only plus the QR code to a retail store to complete the return. A typical return takes less than a minute, the company noted, and returns are approved in real time. Happy Returns initiates refunds and exchanges immediately in most cases through intelligent exchange suggestion technology. For merchants that also use the Happy Returns in-person Return Bar service, the return flow presents customers with nearby Return Bar locations so they can select their preferred returns location. 

Happy Returns is offered in nine languages based on the shopper’s location. Its portal also allows merchants to run detailed reports of returns data and respond to returns-related customer inquiries in real time, the company said.

The new partnership with Ulta Beauty adds 1,3000 new Return Bar locations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Happy Returns to the Ulta Beauty family to deliver our guests greater convenience,” said Kecia Steelman, COO of Ulta Beauty. “Our pilot with the innovative return platform reinforced the value simplified, in-person returns offer consumers and retailers alike. We’re encouraged by the increased store traffic and in-store engagement the partnership drives. This is a winning opportunity for our guests, our brand and Happy Returns.” 

 Click for more articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].