Watch this video to learn more about creating a killer policy that will benefit your online store and operations.
-Matt Winn, Volusion
Here’s the transcript if you’d like to read along:
Hi everybody! My name is Matt and I’m an Online Communications Specialist here at Volusion. Welcome to Two Minute Tuesdays, where we give you two minutes of ecommerce advice to bolster your online success. Today we’re going to help answer a very common customer question, “How do I write my ecommerce return policy?” If you’re seeing lots of returned orders and chargebacks on your statements, pay attention to these tips to help reduce the number of returns and reduce costs.
First off, prevent returns before they happen. People usually return products because their expectations weren’t met. Thus, make sure your product descriptions and photos are up to par so customers know what they’re getting into before they open the box.
Next, try to speak in customers’ language. If you have a lawyer write your ecommerce return policy, or simply have it written with lots of legal speak, you’ll be covered. However, not everyone is a lawyer. So try to tone it back a bit so customers truly understand your policy. By speaking in layman’s terms, you can get your message across while reducing confusion and arguments in the event that an item is returned.
Third, you need to make sure that you indicate any return charges within your policy. Zappos is known for its free return shipping, but we’re not all Zappos, nor do we have that kind of budget. So if you do charge return shipping, you need to explicitly state that within your policy, otherwise customers will raise hell when they try to return their items for free.
Next, you also need to state the timeframe for return and how they’ll receive credit. By timeframe, I mean, do they have 30, 60, 90, 120 or more days to return the items? And by credit policy, will customers receive a store credit or a cash refund? Depending on your budget and what your customers want, you can select the best options to help boost confidence and customer satisfaction in the event of a product return.
Make sure you list all of your requirements upfront for any returns. For example: Do they need to return the product in its original packaging? Can they open the product beforehand? What specific address do they send it to? Do they need to include the receipt upon return? Think of all the different dependencies for your policy and include them.
Finally, promote your policy on your site and elsewhere. You can place it prominently on your website, include your ecommerce return policy within your confirmation emails, and even include a printed version directly in the shipping box. Whatever the case, sharing your policy upfront will help set expectations for customers and help legitimize your online business.
If you have any questions about ecommerce return policies, or any inquiries about selling online, just let us know – we’re happy to help.
From me to you, happy selling!