Why bother taking the time and effort to create a great eCommerce return policy? For many eCommerce businesses, the return policy often comes as an afterthought. Once the website is ready and the business has hit the ground running, that’s when you remember “Oh crap! We need a return policy.”
A great return policy can act as a free marketing tool and invite potential customers to your online store. How is this possible you may ask? At least two-thirds of online shoppers go through a store’s return policy before going ahead to make a decision to purchase. A customer-centric return policy will therefore directly attract customers to your store.
As we shall see, a return policy can make or break your business (especially for new businesses). Here are some of the ways you can make your return policy act as a marketing tool.
1. Make your policy visible
Sounds obvious. Right? You’d be surprised how many online brands have their return policies hidden at the bottom of their pages. 67% of online shoppers at least go through the brand’s return policy before making any purchase. At least make it easy for your customers to locate it.
Here are some tips;
👉 Highlight your return policy as core to your brand’s belief and practice on your homepage. If the terms are good, why hide it? Even more, it will act as a marketing strategy
👉 Have a specific page that breaks down the terms and conditions of your return policy
👉 Link the return policy page to all your social media accounts
👉 Link the return policy to your email marketing campaigns
Your online store should have the returns policy clearly set out. Unlike in a brick and mortar store where the staff directly spell it out to the customer, the dynamics in an online store are different.
Automation is a great tool for any business since it liberates you from performing mundane activities that could be automated. You then have time to focus on other demanding areas of your business.
One effective way of automating is outsourcing your returns needs to firms that only focus on this service. For example, Reclaimit takes care of returns from customers, suppliers, and retailers. Using our iframe solution, your customers can easily register their returns and at the same time, you will receive all relevant information in real-time. You will avoid costly customer management and hassle with consignment notes and create a better user experience as well as greater scope to drive customer loyalty.
Here are other ways you automate your return policy;
👉 Enable customers to track the status of their order(s).
👉 Make it possible to request a refund without contacting customer care support.
👉 Update the customer with emails throughout the return process including when you receive the items, issue a refund, or replace the item with a new one.
Following these steps will not only save your company time especially if you have large orders but will make your processes efficient and encourage customer retention. It’s cliché but still a fact that time is money.
Tip: Promote a similar or new (updated) product in your automated emails with a discount code. Once the customer returns the first product they purchased, they have an option of replacing it with the other one you’ve offered. At Reclaimit, we offer this service. Referred to as Resell, we suggest a new size for any returned item.
3. Make your policy page simple and direct
Your return page should be easy to understand and should go directly to the point. Approximately 70% of our respondents mentioned that they are likely to shop again at an e-commerce shop with a smooth and easy return process. The Simons return page is an example of a return policy that’s well-drafted with the customer in mind.
Here is what we really liked about their return policy;
👉 The brand gives the customer reassurance that their return policy is part of their DNA and will remain in effect
👉 An option of returning the item in-store and making another purchase that same day
👉 An option to choose between an exchange and a refund
👉 You don’t need to sign up to the site to make a return
To be honest, their return policy alone makes you want to engage with the company. It has a feeling of freedom to it.
Finally, avoid legalese in your return policy. The first reaction of a potential client shouldn’t be “Aaaaarggh! I can’t read through all this.”
Additional Tip: Remember to work on the aesthetics of the page too. Add some color and images to make it appealing.
Our Reclaimit study shows that forums play an important role in the consumer’s perception of different e-commerce shops. Forums accounted for the majority (63%) of the total mentions about returns. What does this mean? It means that shoppers are discussing about the return process your store offers and this touches on the return policy. What can you do to make your return policy work for you and market your brand?
Make sure that your return policy is simple, friendly, and visible while always aiming to retain customers. A customer who enjoys a personal touch with your online store while returning items is more likely to pass as a long-term client and recommend others.