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Around 30% of the products bought online are returned. Yes, it is a fact!
For such a significant number, it is imperative that an e-commerce store adequately optimizes its return policy.
Did you know that 10% of cart abandonments happen because customers are not satisfied with the return policy? Read about the other causes of cart abandonments and ways to reduce them here.
How you handle your return procedure and what kind of services you offer can affect your customers’ loyalty and trust in you.
Here are some more product return statistics and trends by Invesp to show you how much your return policy affects the performance of your store:
The return policy of your e-commerce store is, therefore, like a testimonial of your integrity and ethics. For customers to trust and believe in your brand, you must have a great policy that prioritizes the customers and appeals to them.
This article takes a look at how you can do that.
Tips to Get the Return Policy Right
Here are some tips on how you can write a return policy for your e-commerce store that your customers will trust:
Place it in plain sight
Imagine how frustrating it will be if you have to go in circles to find the return policy page. You do not want that to happen with your customers.
Make sure that you do not hide the returns info or link to the policy that the customers have to navigate through pages after pages to find it.
The ideal places in the e-commerce website to place the returns information are:
- Product page – it is the best and proper place to give returns info since the customers would prefer to be aware of it before adding the item to the cart.
- Website footer – You can place the link to the return policy in the footer so that the customers can go through it before proceeding to shop.
- Checkout page – Placing the return info and policy link on the check out page is proof of your brand’s honesty. This way, they can be very sure of their purchase right before the payment.
Additionally, you can also add the link in your order confirmation email that you send to a customer after a successful purchase. This way, they will always know where to get the necessary information if they have to return the product.
It is up to you if you want to display the return info somewhere else as well. For example, some e-commerce stores may prefer to display it on their homepage as a banner. Do what suits your business model. Just make the return policy more visible and accessible to customers.
No copy-paste business
Copying and pasting any content to your website from other sources is a terrible practice. It holds true for the return policy as well.
The return policy is supposed to reflect your business model and integrity. Just ask yourself this – how can you copy someone else’s honesty? You simply cannot.
Do not make your customers read through monotonous paragraphs that they may have already read many times before.
Your business is not the same as others; therefore, your return policy has to be different. Be unique. Be you.
Keep it simple
Not all or the majority of your customers will understand legal jargon. Your customers are not exactly looking for legal assistance here.
Do not confuse your customers with complicated terms in the return policy. Understand your target audience and write the policy accordingly.
Use simple and plain language to explain the return process and conditions. The more it is clear to them, the more satisfactory will be their experience.
To the point
Be very specific about what your return policy is all about. Do not go overboard with details that will distract the customers from the actual point.
List the terms and conditions for the return and explain the return process clearly.
Do not leave any details that may leave unwanted questions in your customers’ minds.
You should include the following information in your return policy:
- Location-based conditions for return (if applicable).
- Return window for each product category.
- Conditions under which the return is allowed.
- Conditions under which the return is not allowed.
- Packaging requirements.
- Fee details, if applicable. Make it clear if they have to pay or you will bear the cost.
- Exchange process and condition.
- Refund details.
- If possible, FAQ section.
- Contact details for further information.
Be polite in your approach.
Do not use authoritative language that may scare the customers.
Do not make them feel like they have done something wrong or that you are not responsible for the product’s return.
You want them to have a hassle-free experience, not make them leave the store on a bad note.
One of the best qualities of an e-commerce store will be its honesty.
Sometimes it’s the store that makes a mistake causing the customer to return the product.
In such a case, be honest about your mistakes and offer your apologies.
Such a gesture will prove your brand’s integrity and leave a good impression on customers.
Imagine the scenario where you made a mistake, and that led the customer to put in a return and exchange request. They want you to rectify it.
Be grateful that they are still here and giving you a second chance.
Leave a thank you note while responding to the request for bringing the issue to their attention and giving you a chance to resolve it.
Make it free
There are many reasons why customers want to return a product. One of them could be their dissatisfaction with the product or a mistake from your end.
Imagine if, in such cases, you ask customers to pay a return fee (like shipping cost).
Customers will not be happy with this, especially for an expensive product.
As an e-commerce store owner, your goal is to make your customers happy and, at the same time, generate revenues.
If possible, make the returns free. Not only will it boost sales, but you will also earn the customers’ loyalty.
Reasonable return window
Sometimes customers need more time to decide. It is natural.
You should give them enough time to decide and request a return. The customers need to see if the product meets the expectation, and sometimes it takes time. Rushing them will leave a bad experience.
A lot of times, customer queries about returns are only addressed after 2-3 days, which is included in the returns window. In such a case, you cannot blame them for being late.
The return window may depend on the product you are selling. However, make sure it is reasonable enough.
Returning a product is not always a smooth experience. Remember that the most likely reason behind returning the product may be customer dissatisfaction.
You can offer reward points or exclusive deals/discounts as compensation on the exchange product or the next purchase.
Such a technique will make customers happy, and they will be motivated to shop with you more in the future.
Good Examples of Return Policy
Here are three examples of return policies of leading e-commerce stores for your reference.
Amazon makes it very clear about its returns and refunds. The return info and link are available at many places where they are hard to miss.
The returns option on the header lets the customers manage their returns.
The link in the footer leads to a category-based returns info.
The full return policy also explains in detail all the conditions for the return and how you can process it for specific categories of products.
Walmart also provides a link to returns info in the website footer.
The link directs to the page on free returns.
This page provides information about return options, and there is an FAQ section that answers several questions related to the process. Here you will find the link to the full return policy. The product page also includes the link to the policy (shown above).
The policy details about the process, such as the conditions for returns, department-wise procedure, and how to return. Contact information is also provided in case customers need further assistance.
BestBuy’s return policy is easily accessible from the link in the footer of the website.
The policy clearly explains the product-based returns window and restocking fee. It goes on to detail in a simple manner, the return process, methods, conditions, exceptions, and fees.
There you go. Let us know if you find these tips and examples helpful.
Also, we would like to know what you did to get your store’s return policy right. The comments section is always open.
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