Working in the world of ecommerce has its limitations, and part of your responsibilities as an online store owner is to overcome them. One such constraint revolves around the basic fact that a shopper doesn’t get to physically look at, or feel a product before making a purchase. To compensate for this, online store owners can create and design a return policy that’s concise, useful, engaging and easy to understand.
Your ecommerce return policy is essential for making returns and exchanges easy for both you and the customer. The more clear your return, exchange, and refund policies, the better. Each small business needs an elegantly return policy for best outcomes.
When writing a return policy for your ecommerce website, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Stipulate a time frame for returns
It’s important to tell your customers know how long they have to return a product. Generally speaking, 15–30 days is standard, although a few businesses opt for 90 days. Either way, you won’t help yourself by accepting returns beyond that time.
Fail to disclose a time frame for returns and you’ll discover customers trying to ship back items months, even years, after they’ve been bought. Obviously, this is not a good thing for online store owners. Several large businesses have suffered losses because of open-ended return periods, to the point that most have presented stricter rules.
Choose refund or in-store credit
Customers need to know how you plan to compensate them before they return an item. Many will demand a full refund while others may agree for in-store credit. As an e-store owner, you have to choose between the two.
We recommend offering customers a full refund on all returned merchandise so long as it meets the necessities of your return policy. At your discretion, you can choose to offer store credit for particular types of returns. If you choose to do this, ensure you explain the accurate circumstances in your policy. Utilized properly, store credit can improve and enhance your returns process.
If you choose to offer in-store credit only, however, many of your existing and future customers won’t be happy.
Keep the language simple and to the point
The general standard guideline here is it to write like you talk. If you’re not a lawyer, don’t act like it. Use verbiage your customers can identify with, and don’t hesitate to give your return policy some personality. So long as it’s clear, concise and not open for translation, you’re ready.
Filling your return policy with complicated language and/or legal jargon will just confuse your customers and lead to an increase in service requests. This costs time and money that could have effectively been saved by having a great return policy in place.
Define the expected condition of returns
It’s one thing to acknowledge a return if the customer is quickly unhappy with a product or the product is defective. It’s quite different to accept a return if a product has been utilized, broken or devalued in anyway by the purchaser.
When structuring your company’s return policy, define the condition a product should be in before a return can be processed. If you fail to add this
information, customers will attempt to return merchandise in condition too poor to even consider being exchanged. In this case, you’ll be forced to take a loss.