The true basis of e-commerce transactions does not lie in any form of technology, be it mail, internet or smartphones. It lies in the idea of trust. The customer trusts the seller to provide a product or a service even though they have never met or physically interacted with each other, so much so that the customer is even ready to pay before acquiring the product. This is a very delicate scenario, and the onus now falls on the seller to value this trust.
Many times it so happens that the product is not acceptable to the customer after all. There can be various reasons for this – and it might be either party’s fault. But the fact remains that in this case, the seller that accommodates the customer by providing him with a solid return policy gains trust.
A survey conducted by the Journal of Marketing shows that sellers that introduced a free returns policy to their customers saw an increase in sales between58% and 357% in a span of two years.We previously wrote aboutmanaging your existing returns policiesto achieve efficiency in the process.
In this article, we will talk about creating a great returns policy that your customers will love, resulting in an increased trust in your brand.
Creating a Solid Returns Policy
Keep it Simple
The first rule of returns is never shy away from returns. Many sellers try to avoid returns by drafting a policy full of scary legal jargon and conditions. This approach is then the same as not having a policy at all. Doing a half-hearted attempt is as bad as not attempting at all. Try to keep your returns policy as simple as you can. Of course, you will try as hard as you can to not create a scenario where returning a product is inevitable, but you are completely happy to accept a return. Your policy should reflect that.
Do Not Hide Your Returns Policy
Again, if you are doing so, it’s the same as not having one at all. Your returns policy should be easily accessible on your website and not hidden away in some FAQ questionnaire. In fact, it is a great idea to provide return shipping labels along with your product. It makes it easier for the customer and in turn, they love you more.
Set a Timeline
Indefinite returns is a bad idea, but clearly define the returns window starting from the date of sale. It can be 30 days, 60 days or 90 days according to your preference and convenience. But define these rules and stick to them.
It’s always great to offer options on the customer refunds. These can be product exchanges, store credit or cash back. It’s a bad idea to restrict a returns policy to store credit or exchanges only. Its preferable for you to let the customers choose for themselves, and it will be very helpful in the long run.
This is the most important part when it comes to drafting and implementing a returns policy. We realise that there can be cases where the customer is at fault, or is trying to cheat you when it comes to returns. But it is important to keep the tone of behaviour, both written and spoken, courteous. Try not to be disheartened every time a product is being returned – it is your response in times like these that builds your reputation.