In a recent Harris poll, as many as 91% responded that store’s return policies are crucial for purchasing product. Hence framing a well-thought-out return policy clearly displayed in your store is key to attracting- and keeping- your customers.
As the online world is now shrinking to the core, shopping online is more of a norm now. Brick and mortar stores are vanishing at a light speed and hence your visitors are choosing cognitive over the real feel. Needless to say, this gives a toss to their confidence while buying since they cannot physically inspect the product.
Hence, your return policies serve as the driving force behind their buy decision and increase faith in your brand, also a fair return policy earns you a recurrent visitor as well.
A well-framed returns and refunds & exchange policy creates a good brand impression, increases credibility in the market and you as an owner can pride yourself on a stellar customer service experience. It is one of the many “wow” factors you can offer to shoppers who are little interested in buying online and still lure them to your site.
How to Write a Great Returns Policy
As and when you have to update or revise your return policy, it states the fact that it has not worked well for you prior to this. So this time when you sit to outline this policy make sure you have following this included
Don’t hide your policy.
You don't want them to play a treasure hunt on your site to find return policy. Keep this in broad daylight on your main menu. If possible shout out your transparency by keeping them on your banners or somewhere its prominent.
Trust me, of all the best, is to drop in with an Email. Let your customers know you are out there to take it back if they don't like it. This means- live up to what you have said in your policy.
Maintain the clarity:
There’s a lot to learn from Amazon I tell you. Offering free shipping to its return policy, it is a class apart. They place their policy right in its footer making it easy for visitors to find.
However, it has segments of its return and refund policy on terms and condition. So you really need not go through a leaflet to see what applies to you , since it depends if you received the package by FBA or FBS.
Keep Your Returns Free:
Zappos, the most popular brand in e-commerce too has to let it go when it comes to offering the best customer service. Zappos offer free shipping and returns and it works great for them. However, according to Craig Adkins, Zappos VP of service and Operations, a customer buying even exclusive and most expensive shoes also have 50% return rate. And yet, they are still the one’s who spend most their money on with them and is, in turn, profitable
The return policy that sets Zappos apart from its competitor is, it allows 365-day limit to return/exchange the products that are purchased from them, given the fact the product is still in good condition or at least in its original package.
Look how Zappos turned the most annoying and unpleasant experience into something relieving and fun. This encourages customers to buy several items from the store without hesitation and return it if nothing suits them. Also, the longer the return period you are likely to see the boost in your sales, like Zappos.
Zappos gets 75% improved customer loyalty repeat buyers from free returns, even though they charge more for their products (eCommerce Digest).
Keep it easy to understand
There is one biggest customer turn off pertaining to return policy. Even the friendliest brands tend to reflect ‘legal speech’ while addressing refunds. For instance ‘ discretion’ ‘under so and so condition’ etc are the phrases that give kind of head spin to your customers.
Hence when you are writing your refund policy adhere to following norms when writing a return policy:
(a) Keep it simple
(b) Don’t use complicated legal jargon
© Maintain your brand voice
Best Buy sets a great example by discussing their return period for respective products, listing what products can be returned which cannot. They also list out the ways the customers can return the product or opt for a refund. The style of showing return policy is great. Simple language, bullet points makes it a fast and easy read.
Generate web Content particularly for your return process:
Promote your return process as much as you can. It will definitely lead customers to your way and entrust their faith in you. Consider publishing a FAQ page and customer service numbers.
I am a huge fan of neatness and clarity ASOS shows on its refund page.
Disclose any fees beforehand
Most checkout fails due to hidden shipping cost, and so does customer’s perception of brand. When your customer wants to return an item they have purchased, they would hate it to the gut to shell out the return fund as well.
When your customer already is experiencing an unpleasant experience, it is not advisable to hit them more with unexpected and hidden shipping and restocking fees. Two of three customers would buy more if returns were free.
Marks & Spencer has always maintained an efficient and smooth return policy in its store and the online store is simply awesome. They offer free returns to stores via freepost. Not as easy as having a collection arranged, but at least customers incur no costs.
Inculcate testimonials and promote it on your Social media
Happy customers will always be thankful for the hassle free return and seamless brand experience. Do not hesitate to ask for a testimony. Once you process the return immediately and they get it, they'll be more than happy to pen down.
You can take their picture and testimony to add it to your return page. When your other customers will see this they will be assured and will likely associate with you. This will also boost your brand credibility.
You can wear this as a proud social badge by reflecting positive experience.
Free shipping and Free returns are the most lucrative services you can offer to your customer to establish long term relations. Return and refund policy speaks a lot about your brand’s ethics and values. Even the top notch brands are fighting hard to deliver the most remarkable shopping experience and make shopping a wonderful experience for them. Aforementioned steps can help you enhance and frame better return policy and make an impression hard to forget.
Simple, yet powerful