How to write a return policy that benefits you and the customer both for your Shopify Store

Dec 24, 2020 | 10 min read

How to write a return policy that benefits you and the customer both for your Shopify Store

1. QuickRead

Your Ecommerce Return Policy is probably not the most exciting part of your online store.
It is, however, something that is required by law. Even if you’re selling on a marketplace like eBay, Bonanza, Etsy or other sites like Etsy, you’re expected to have a return or refund policy of some kind.
For all its benefits, online purchases are subject to such concerns on behalf of your purchaser.
The important thing is that,
Your client can’t keep, touch, see or feel what they’re buying until they own it.
A flexible return policy ensures that the purchaser will make a purchase, understanding that if it’s not great, they will give it back, trade it, or even get a refund.
Little things like this add up to really impress your customer and ultimately make them a return purchaser. It’s also a wonder to maximise the conversion rate.
That being said, you’re not going to make money if people continuously return your product ‘just because.’

2. The economy of returns by numbers

Stock returns may have a huge effect on the bottom line of your store — in more than one way.
The cost of product returns, in addition to the free return shipping (if you give it) can be daunting to your company. But the possibility of a loss of revenue if you don’t? It’s true.
Overall figures on returns.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers returned $369 billion — about 10%—of all sales, brick-and-mortar and online in 2018.
Return rates leap to around 30 percent or higher when you look at online transactions. For example, Revolve, the famous online clothing vendor, made $400 million in net sales in 2017, but paid almost $385 million in returns, writes Jason Del Rey of Recode. This does not include the cost of returning the shipment.
Yet the return policies and the return process also have a huge effect on customer satisfaction. A survey conducted by UPS in 2019 found that, for 73% of shoppers, overall returns had an impact on how likely they were to buy from a retailer again, and 68% said that experience had an impact on their overall perceptions of the retailer.
Holidays and gifts are back.
The holiday gift season can be a stressful time for shoppers. There are so many standards and interpretations of gift-giving obligations — it’s no wonder that a large percentage of the gifts we offer, especially those people we don’t know well, fall flat.
And that, of course , leads to the return of a gift.
CBRE forecasts that online returns for the 2019 holiday season could amount to as much as $41.6 billion.
And while the rate of return for holidays is normally around twice as high as the rest of the year, consumer satisfaction with these returns is lower. Just 57% of shoppers report that gift returns are simple or very simple, compared to 67% of non-gift returns.
Holiday gift returns are such a big deal, UPS coined a new “holiday” shopping season: National Returns Day. The Logistics Package and Distribution Company predicts that the highest return date of this year — January 2, 2020—will see 1.9 million returns.
That’s a 26% improvement over the last year.
Returns to fraud and violence.
NRF found that about 6.5 per cent or $22.6 billion of returns were labelled fraud or misuse of store return policies. This includes the falsification of receipts for profit or the purchase of something for the purpose of wearing it once before returning it (known as “wardrobing”).

3. What is a return policy?

The return policy is the overview where you tell your customers of your return and refund process.
It specifically tells your customer what they can and can not return, and for what reasons. It also sets out an estimated timeline for their return or refund to be processed.
In almost all countries, it is a legal requirement that any kind of trader have a means for the consumer to return, refund or swap a product. Digital products in digital stores, too!
It is essential that the customer is informed of the ways they can do this.

4. How to write a return policy?

So now that you’re aware of what a return policy is. It’s time for you to get into the nitty-gritty of making one yourself.
The reason your brand has a refund policy and returns it is not just a matter of law.
It’s to make sure your client feels secure.
It’s about building trust between you and your customer, so they don’t feel like they’re going to get ripped off.
Here we go with our eight easy steps:

Make your return policy accessible

You customers should never have to go on a scavenger hunt to find information about your store.
Keep this on your main menu in broad daylight.
Or, if you’re comfortable, yell it from the rooftops, putting it in places like your carousel and banners all over your shop.
Let those who have already bought know that you’re dedicated to them, like their product, and that if they don’t, they can always give it back.
Any seasoned e-commerce vendor will inform you that a lot of sales are lost on the product listing side. This could be for a wide range of reasons.
One of these explanations may be that the customer does not fully trust your brand or your shop.
Advice: Prevent this issue by putting a connexion to your return policy right under the ‘Add to Cart’ button or in your purchase confirmation email.
Being the biggest advocate for your customer is a great way to foster lifelong loyalty.

Do not scare the customers off

If someone is reading your policy, they’re reading it because they want to buy it, and they’re trying to buy it. But they’re going to need to see that little bit of trust to get them over the line. Try not to use phrases like “you must” and “you are needed” or, one of the worst, “we are not responsible for it.” Actually, the return process should be as simple as it was to purchase the item first. Words like this, particularly when you’re trying to create confidence, scare people. They make you look like you’re washing your hands out of trouble.
You sound like you refuse to help your customer after they’ve given you your money.
Does that sound like a good way to build trust, repeat business, and a life buyer?
Yeah, well, not really.

Keep your return policy simple and to the point

Your return policy will be complicated by default, but don’t make it any more confusing than it has to be.
These are all the key concerns and conditions that your quality return policy needs to fix. Solve these issues, and you’re well on your way to having a satisfied customer.
What is the return or swap procedure?

  • How long does the product have to be returned to your customer?
  • Can they only give it back if it’s damaged or not as described, or can they give it back if they don’t meet their expectations?
  • Packaging – would the product have to be returned to the original packaging? What if the box is slightly damaged?
  • Who is responsible for the returns? The more shipping costs you (the seller) bear and pay, the happier your customer will be. Whatever you decide, let it be clear who pays for what.
  • You gave the wrong order to your customer – can you give it express? Are you going to pay for it?
  • Will the consumer swap a purchase for the same item in a different colour or size? If there is a price gap between the versions, how are you going to handle that?
  • Do your customers earn store credit for a future order, or do they get their money back?

Know your return strategy and make sure your team does so, too

When you have workers executing orders or communicating with clients, make sure they know your return policy from inside out.
It’s a smart habit to have one person manage a return from start to finish. This eliminates the chances of ‘crossed lines’ and other contact issues.
Ensuring that any worker is well aware of the return policies ensures that they waste less time processing returns, and the whole procedure is easier for the parties concerned.
Be sure all staff are up to date with the return practises and processes so that they can service consumers efficiently and easily.

Do not copy paste

This applies to almost everything on your platform (especially product descriptions), but a return and exchange policy is not a one-size-fits-all scenario.
Personalize this to a particular market and target demographic.
Please make this a nice page to read and affirm your loyalty to your customers.
Include, if necessary, reviews of the experience of the consumer.
Using this page as a testimonial on the web – one that you will use to show to prospective clients that not only do people enjoy the goods, but that even though they don’t, you also treat others with integrity , honesty and justice.

Be prepared to admit and rectify your mistakes

When you’ve messed up, be honest and get things corrected. You may make an error that upsets and angers a customer at any point, and that’s completely cool.
And, of course, you’re going to get out of your way to fix the dilemma you’ve made. One way to turn bad encounters like this into positive is to bear the financial burden of those errors.
For eg, let ‘s say:
The customer orders the wrong size of the dress.
Of default, the lenient returns policy helps them to change the dress to the right size.
However, the refund policy also specifies that they must refund the wrong size to you before you ship out a new size. A basic definition, not an irrational one.
But what happens if you simply give them the wrong size? This isn’t really something you’d write about in your return policy, but it’s also something to bear in mind.
Solve this situation by sending them the correct size via express mail, without waiting for the wrong size to be returned.
This is your fault, something that has arisen outside of your refund policies, so your customer might be very upset.
By covering the expense of your error and showing good will to fix the dilemma, you maximise the odds of making an unhappy customer into a repeat customer. Don’t fail to play fair, eventually.
If you make a change to your policy, be sure to comply with the old policy if an order has been placed before the change has taken place.
As per our discussion I have asked archana to collect blog topics for ‘Magento speed Optimization’ and she will be sharing it with you today by the end of first half.

As Shopify is concerned we choose blog topics on weekly basis by considering the following parameters

  • Trending topics on Official Shopify blog site
  • Client request on Shopify forum
  • Meeting with SEO team
  • Monitoring global trends using Google trendz tool
Dec 24th, 2020|
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