Leading Content Marketing Efforts for a Shopify Returns App

A brand positioning, messaging, and thought leadership overhaul

My Role: Copywriter and Content Marketing Lead

Returnly — offering the only returns platform powered by data science and financial technology — hired me as their first Director of Content Marketing. In this net-new role, my focus for the first quarter was three-fold:

  1. Support CEO and other marketing leads with rebranding efforts
  2. Amplify Returnly’s key differentiators and benefits to help Shopify merchants choose the best returns solution for their businesses
  3. Collaborate with PR and other communications professionals to create thought leadership content on behalf of our CEO and CTO

While my role was impacted by a 1/3 reduction of our workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m proud of the contributions I made to help reinforce the Returnly brand as a trusted leader in the post-purchase direct-to-consumer e-commerce space.

Below, I’ve outlined what I was able to accomplish before my departure.

Returnly was acquired by Affirm Holding, Inc. in 2021.

1. Working together to define company positioning and messaging pillars

When I was brought on board, Returnly, a late-stage financial technology startup, was in the process of a brand refresh. Initially, I worked with leaders across the organization to update brand positioning, public-facing messaging, in-app communications, and editorial guidelines. Ultimately responsible for content marketing efforts, this was the perfect opportunity to help me understand the businesses’ key differentiators, customer base, competition, and reputation in the e-commerce landscape — everything I needed to create a strategy to help support Returnly’s place as a returns leader in the e-commerce space.

​THE GOAL:

Position Returnly as the only returns platform powered by data science and financial technology capable of giving direct-to-consumer brands the ability to turn returns into a winning edge in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.

THE RESULT:

Foundational branding elements that tell the story of Returnly’s unique ability to help its customers exceed their shoppers’ expectations by delivering instant gratification at the point of return — i.e., extending credit to let shoppers get the right item before having to return the one they don’t want.

Company tagline:
A return experience like no other

Positioning Statement: 
Returnly is the only return solution that lets customers get the right item before returning the wrong one — with zero risk to the merchant.

Value Proposition:
The best returns experience is built with Returnly. With Returnly in place, brands give browsers the confidence to buy. When purchases don’t go as planned, Returnly uses financial technology to help brands exceed shopper expectations, save more sales, and earn repeat business. 

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER: THE WEBSITE

When the rebranded website went live it showcased the new company, platform, and product positioning — reinforcing Returnly’s position in the marketplace as a financial technology leader uniquely equipped to help e-commerce businesses turn post-purchase experiences into competitive advantages. Click the image below to check out the Returnly website.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 1.11.29 PM.png

2. Creating purpose-built content to amplify brand benefits and help Shopify merchants succeed

A bit of context: In the e-commerce space, a lot of data has been gathered and shared about shopper behaviors and trends. Shopper personas, in fact, have been well defined and documented. And this information is used by most direct-to-consumer brands to improve shoppers’ pre-purchase experience, streamline internal operations, and plan marketing efforts. But nothing had been done to help these businesses better understand “returner” behaviors; creating the perfect opportunity to elevate Returnly’s position as a thought leader in the e-commerce space.

​As a returns platform powered by data science and financial technology, we had unique insights into return and exchange trends and post-purchase shopper behaviors. I oversaw the development of Returnly’s 2020 State of Returns Report which broke new ground by defining the returner personas shaping the e-commerce landscape. With this report, we were able to present new insights and relevant content to better help our customers meet customer expectations, boost brand loyalty, and increase sales through returns. — and elevate Returnly’s standing as trusted thought leaders in the direct-to-consumer and financial technology community. 

EBOOK: FIRST-EVER DATA REPORT OF ITS KIND

Check out the first-ever consumer-centric returns report. Unlike other return reports that analyze logistics data, the Returnly 2020 State of Returns Report includes findings from our year-long look at consumer returns behavior.

WEBINAR PRESENTATION: STATE OF RETURNS DATA REPORT

To spread the word and celebrate the release of Returnly’s first-ever data report, we organized a live webinar with e-commerce thought leader Steve Hutt. Here’s the deck that was created to support the conversation between Steve and Aaron Schwartz, Chief Business Officer at Returnly. 

WEBINAR: STATE OF RETURNS DATA REPORT

And here’s the webinar I hosted to unveil and review the Returnly 2020 State of Returns Report State of Returns data report.

WEBINAR: DIRECT TO CONSUMER (DTC) OPEN HOUSE

At the beginning of the pandemic, with so much uncertainty for DTC merchants and app developers alike, we launched at DTC Open House series to bring everyone together to share and learn from one another.

3. Rolling out learning and thought leadership content programs

I also collaborated with our public relations agency, strategic partners, communications consultants, and in-house subject matter experts to create content to amplify executive presence, reinforce brand mission, and raise awareness of Returnly’s products, services, partnerships, and customer successes.

LEARNING CONTENT CREATED FOR SHOPIFY ACADEMY

Tips for Building an Online Return Strategy with Returnly

SAMPLES: EXECUTIVE BYLINES

SAMPLES: BLOG CONTENT

Published by

Ray J. Kelly

Writer, children's book author, and em-dash enthusiast, Ray lives in Palm Springs, CA.