One of the biggest concerns of owners of e-commerce businesses is the relatively high rate of returns compared with conventional brick-and-mortar businesses. With a Forbes report mentioning e-commerce sales increased by 24% in 2020, the returns are also likely to increase. As much as returns take a slice off the business’s profits, having an effective returns policy can help to retain customers and generate a positive ROI. Some tips on designing a returns policy that will help to increase sale and customer loyalty:
Make Your Returns Policy Easily Accessible
Some e-commerce store owners tend to think that one way of reducing returns is to hide the policy in the hope that customers will not be able to find it and take advantage of it. However, dissatisfied customers will send the items back anyway and be more aggrieved, making it more difficult to satisfy them. To avoid this, ensure that customers can find the policy on your website easily. Also, be sure to include it in the sales receipts and customer correspondence. A more visible returns policy signals confidence to customers and reassures them that the store is eager to please them.
Avoid Confusing Customers with Verbiage and Legal Jargon
For customers to figure out your returns policy, you should ensure that you use clear, crisp, and unambiguous language avoiding complex sentences and jargon that only a lawyer would be able to decipher. Remember, a confused customer tends to be annoyed and unlikely to be loyal to the store, especially when he’s already dissatisfied with the items purchased. A confusing returns policy will also lead to extra requests for support. It is far better to provide customers with a policy that is clear and concise, observes Sherpack noted.
Specify a Reasonable Timeframe
Specifying too tight a deadline for returns indicates that you do not want customers to benefit. Since an extended time for allowing returns acts as a guarantee of satisfaction, it is observed that the number of returns goes down when the window is widened. Because customers know that they can rely on you for an exchange or a refund for a long time after receiving the item, they feel more assured about its quality and tend to be more loyal.
Define What Returns Are Acceptable
It is important to be clear regarding the coverage of your returns policy. For example, you may specify that the item has to be “as new” or unused for it to qualify. Inform that a manufacturing defect or damage in shipping will be eligible for a replacement but not a refund. Not defining the condition of the item or whether the return is limited to an exchange or a store credit can lead to customers becoming annoyed.
You can reduce the number of returns by providing better and more product details. One of the main reasons why customers return items is that it is the incorrect size or the wrong item. Ensure that the images are clear and well-lit as well as taken from multiple angles. Ensure proper measurements are given to prevent disappointment.