When running an ecommerce store, having a solid return policy is crucial to the success of your store. Here are 6 tips to making your return policy more effective:
1. Make your policy clear and precise
The last thing you want to do is to have a policy that does not cover every situation. If your policy explains all the details up front, you will save the time and effort of communicating with your customers about your unclear return policy. Use terms that every customer will understand and it will become easier for your customers to follow your policy. Also make sure your policy is in plain sight so your customers can review it before making purchases.
2. Cost of Returns
Be sure to explain the cost of returns. Who is going to pay to return the item? If you are running a special on free shipping, make sure that there is a fine print about the cost of returning the item. You will not build up loyal customers if they are hit with cost they were not expecting.
3. How long can they make returns for?
Depending on your industry, there might be different time constraints for your products. Make your time frame reasonable for your consumers to get the product back to you. It is also a good practice to include the time frame on the shipping information you send out.
4. What will they receive back?
After you have received the product back, are you going to refund their payment method or provide them store credit? This might not be the same for all products. It is possible to offer store credit for clearance items and full refunds for regular priced items. Again, refer to tip #1 about being completely clear about your policy; especially if you are varying by product.
5. Keep all staff informed
Make sure everyone at the company is informed of your return policy. If a customer is to call in, it is crucial that they can assist that customer with the returns procedure.
6. Gather Feedback
After you have received an item back from a customer, consider having one of your customer services representatives reach out to this customer to understand why the product was returned. Other options to gather feedback is a questionnaire that must be sent back with the product or a follow up email. However you decide to get the information, use it to make further decisions about your products. If all items are being returned because of sizing issues, you should communicate this on your store. If items are continually breaking, don’t stock that item any more. Items that are continually returned can create negative business and cost your company money.
If you follow these simple tips, you should be able to create a successful return policy. What ever policy you create, know that it can be adjusted at any point that it is not working for your company. Just be sure to notify your customers of any policy changes that you make.