It might be tempting to gloss over your refund and return policy. However, this is one of the most crucial aspects of your e-commerce site. In fact, studies show that 92% of buyers will purchase something again if returns are easy. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can improve your return policy to increase conversion rates and retain customers.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of offering refunds and returns. Then, we’ll offer some tips for doing so without sacrificing profits. Let’s get to work!
Return Policies: What They Are and Why They’re Important
A company’s refund and return policy refers to the conditions under which buyers can return the items they bought. It usually includes several stipulations, including which products they can return, a timeframe in which they can do so, and how you will reimburse them:
If you run an e-commerce store, this policy is an important aspect of your business. Anyone who sells a service or product will have to deal with customers who aren’t satisfied with what they bought.
There are many reasons why someone might want to return the items they’ve purchased, such as:
- Sizing issues with clothing
- Defects with products
- Erroneous or unwanted gifts
As a business owner, it’s important to come up with a refund procedure and create a dedicated space for it on your website. Not only will it save you complications in the long run, but it could also encourage site visitors to buy your products. Studies show that up to 67% of shoppers visit a store’s returns page before making a purchase.
Having to refund a customer doesn’t necessarily translate into a lost sale. If you make the return process simple, you can actually increase customer loyalty and retention. In a recent study, customers who had a smooth return experience claimed that they would buy from the site again.
How to Create an Effective Refund and Return Policy (5 Tips)
Although it’s impossible to avoid returns 100% of the time, there are plenty of strategies that can help you make the process as smooth as possible, all while minimizing costs for your business. Let’s look at five tips on how to create an effective refund and return policy for your e-commerce store.
1. Align Your Return Policy With Your Brand
When it comes to branding, customers want to see consistency across every aspect of your store. Your return policy is no exception. Uniformity throughout your site helps with brand recognition while also improving trustability.
To make your return policy consistent with your brand, you’ll want to make sure that the page where it resides matches the rest of your website. The Grainne Morton Delivery & Returns page is a good example of a policy page design that aligns with the rest of the website:
While visual coherence is key, another thing to keep in mind is writing style and tone. For example, a policy presented in an informal and playful style wouldn’t blend well if your business sells medical services and products.
Keeping your return policy page aligned with the rest of your brand will help your business stand out from other e-commerce stores. It can also create a positive User Experience (UX).
2. Ensure That Your Policy is Easy to Find
If your policy is buried on your website, users might not be able to find it. This can lead to frustration and cause them to abandon their carts without making a purchase.
To prevent this, you’ll want to make sure that your return and exchange policy is easy for customers to find. An obvious place for this would be your header menu.
However, most online stores don’t include the return policy in their menus, as this space is dedicated to the company’s products:
To find a happy medium, consider including return information in your footer menu. Housing it under a bold header at the bottom of your homepage as demonstrated by Allbirds is a good option:
That way, users will be able to find this page without much trouble. Plus, you won’t have to sacrifice precious real estate on your front page.
3. Clarify Return and Refund Deadlines
Writing your return and refund policy in vague or dense language can cause confusion and dissatisfaction for your customers. Furthermore, it can lead to complications if buyers are unable to return something because of instructions that were unclear or difficult to understand.
To avoid this, you’ll want to make sure that your policy details are clear and concise. For example, Nalen Ayurveda has a simple paragraph that clearly states the company’s return conditions:
Using straightforward language with clearly explained terms will reduce the likelihood that buyers will blame you for a return that goes wrong. If they’re aware of your deadlines and rules, they’ll be able to decide whether or not they want to purchase your product.
4. Create a Return Portal
Reducing obstacles in the return process enables customers to make their returns more quickly. This decreases the back-and-forth between them and your customer service team, which can be a drain on both time and money.
To streamline the process, you can create a return portal for your online store. A plugin such as Return Refund and Exchange for WooCommerce enables you to create a simple management system that includes refunds, exchanges, and order-canceling features:
This tool can also boost customer satisfaction and help you manage your returned items more efficiently. Quick and hassle-free returns may mean a faster turnaround for you. This can save you more money by improving the chances that the item will be in optimal condition for resale.
5. Offer Numerous Return Types
Providing several return options gives your customers more flexibility. This can help you preserve revenue and promote long-term customer retention.
You can do this by offering different types of refunds and exchanges. This can include full refunds, a flexible timeframe, free return shipping, or store credit or gift cards.
For example, the sportswear brand Athleta allows you to try out new clothes. If you’re not satisfied with the product, you can return it within 60 days:
The store also gives you store credit in the same amount as the purchase price for returned gifts. Giving shoppers these options can help increase customer satisfaction and make them more likely to return to your store.
Your refund and return policy can be a make-or-break factor in a user’s purchasing decision. Creating a policy that includes elements such as clear refund deadlines and free return shipping can encourage shoppers to complete their orders. Plus, they’ll be more likely to come back and make future purchases.
Do you have any questions about how to create a refund and return policy? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pexels.