5 Things that Every Online Store Return Policy Should Include

What to include in your online store’s return policy for happy customers and healthy profits.

When you opened your e-commerce store you probably thought about all the great products you were going to sell to eager customers all over the country (or even the world). But you may not have thought about what happens when someone doesn’t want or need the product they bought. Can they easily return it to you? If not, chances are they will skip your store and go buy from your competitor. The ability to return something usually ranks in the top three things that a shopper looks for before they buy, so not allowing returns could kill your sales. Here are five things to make sure are part of your return policy to maximize profitability and customer satisfaction.

1: Make it Easy to Find

Perhaps the easiest thing to do to improve a customer’s shopping experience is making your return policy easy to find, prominently displayed on the website whenever a customer is shopping, so they know what to expect. As many as 70% of shoppers check a return policy before they buy something, so make it accessible.

2: What Can Be Returned or Exchanged

Clearly outline what products are eligible for full returns (refund), what can be exchanged (for different color, size, etc.), and what is a “final sale” item that cannot be returned. Also spell out the condition that items must be in for returns, for example, new with the tags still on.

3: How Long People Have to Return/Exchange Items

Some businesses have touted long return policies—including a “lifetime return” policy that L.L. Bean recently scaled back—but you don’t have to accept returns indefinitely. Most online stores set a limit of 30, 60, or 90 days to return items. If you sell highly seasonal items, a shorter policy makes sense to allow you the best chance to resell it. Also clearly specify if the window starts from the date of the purchase, date of delivery, or some other date.

4: What Customers Get for Returns

Some stores only offer store credit or exchanges for equal value items, while others offer full refunds. Whatever you choose, let customers know.

5: Process for Initiating Return

Describe the process for returning items, and contact information such as an email address or phone number where people can reach out with questions.

Make Returns Easy on You

Getting a reverse logistics software platform can help you manage returns on the front end with customers to ensure speedy refunds, exchanges, or repairs, and help on the back end so you can restock or resell items that come back as soon as possible, reducing the financial impact of a return on your bottom line.

Talk to ReverseLogix today about our reverse logistics platform to improve your customers’ shopping experience and your business operations.