Check Your Online Returns Policy for These Things as Holiday Shopping Seasons Starts

Holiday shopping means more returns, but you can help make that process easier by checking these things right now.

It’s holiday shopping season, and you have probably been preparing for this for the last several months. Some retailers have been building an online store for the first time, especially small and medium businesses that have long relied on foot traffic and in-person sales. Others have been ramping up existing online shopping sites to make sure they can handle shoppers this season. No matter what level of online shopping maturity your store is at, you can always benefit from refreshing your online returns policy to ensure smoother sales and happier customers. Here are some tips to get yours ready for the season.

Review the language of your policy

Holiday shopping is a time when millions of people spend billions of dollars on gifts for others. While this is a great time of year to spread joy with gifts, it’s also a time when many people just get it wrong. They might buy the wrong size, get a gift that someone can’t use, or just purchase something that the recipient doesn’t like. Some of these items will be shoved in storage or re-gifted, but many of them will need to be returned or exchanged. To prepare for the inevitable crush of holiday returns, check your returns policy and make sure it’s up to date. It should include:

  • Clear guidelines on what is returnable and what is not (if anything is “final sale”)
  • Clear timelines for when an item can be returned
  • Whether a receipt is required for return
  • Steps to return the item, including filling out a return material authorization or other verification document prior to sending something back
  • Any fees or costs for returns, including shipping, restocking, etc.
  • Contact information to reach someone at your business with any additional questions

Review your process for managing returns

For many businesses, the hardest part about returns is managing them once they arrive. Do you have a clear strategy to track them from the time they leave the customer’s hands to the final disposition? If not, it’s time to create something. Your process should include:

  • Returned materials authorization (RMA) that allows you to track when a customer would like to initiate a return and verify that the purchase is legitimate.
  • Shipment tracking to your warehouse or store.
  • Automated communications to let customers know what is going on and when they can expect a refund, exchange, or other resolution.
  • Internal controls to ensure that a product is returned to the warehouse for resale, returned to vendor, recycled, or otherwise disposed in a timely manner.

Get a software solution to manage it all

If all of this sounds like a lot of work at a time when you’re already busy with holiday shopping, talk to ReverseLogix about how our returns management software can automate and streamline a lot of your process for easier returns and better financial control of your online sales.