Good Return Policy in E-commerce

How to Create a Good Return Policy for Your Ecommerce Business

Published by Admin  ·  July 05, 2023

Running a successful ecommerce business requires more than just offering great products. It’s also essential to provide excellent customer service, and a crucial aspect of this is having a well-crafted return policy.

Obviously, you want your customers to be happy with their purchases and keep whatever they bought. However, there may be issues beyond your control that can affect the state of the product. Having a clear and customer-friendly return policy tells your customers that you listen to feedback. It also helps you build trust, as well as encourages repeat purchases.

In short, if your online store doesn’t have a return policy yet, it’s time to develop one. If you do have a return policy, review it and make sure that it’s an effective one. Here are some things to consider:

Don’t Use Confusing Language

When it comes to return policies, one of the most important elements is clarity. There’s no need to use complex legal jargon to make things sound “official.” When you use convoluted language for your return policy, you might end up confusing your customers instead of encouraging them to use the service.

In writing your return policy, strive for simplicity and transparency. Communicate the terms and conditions of your return policy using plain language that anyone can understand. By doing so, you can eliminate confusion and ensure that customers know exactly what to do and expect when they return their purchases.

Make the Timeline Manageable

It’s essential to set a reasonable timeline for product returns. Too short of a window can leave customers feeling rushed. This is particularly true if your ecommerce business is shipping to the Philippines from another country. Often, the parcels can take 3 to 4 weeks to arrive from abroad, so make sure to account for the delivery period when you write or revise your return policy.

Meanwhile, an excessively long timeframe can increase the risk of returns for outdated or unwanted items. As such, you need to find a balance that allows customers sufficient time to evaluate their purchase while also ensuring a timely return process. Most online sellers allow up to a maximum of 60 days for product returns, depending on the product. You can either follow this or come up with your own time frame based on your offerings.

Whatever you decide, make sure to clearly communicate the deadline for returns. You should also specify any exceptions, such as extended timelines for holiday seasons.

Be Clear About the Expected Condition of the Returned Items

One common source of frustration for customers is uncertainty about the condition in which returned items should be. If they bought a T-shirt, for example, would ruined stitches on the inside of one sleeve qualify? For clarity, identify all your expectations regarding the condition of returned products. Some examples include:

  • the item must be unused
  • the item must be in its original packaging
  • the item must still have its tags attached

By setting clear guidelines, you can streamline the return process and minimize misunderstandings.

Identify ALL Requirements for Returns

Beyond the condition of the item, make sure to identify and communicate all other requirements for a successful return. Consider other factors such as necessary documentation like receipts, any associated fees or restocking charges, and the like. Some sellers also prohibit the return of certain things like sale items, gift cards, undergarments, and health products.

By including comprehensive information, you can ensure a smoother return experience for both your customers and your business.

Let Customers Know What They Will Receive in Return

Usually, online stores have two options for their customers who return their purchases: either they get their money back or receive store credits equivalent to the product’s cost. While cash refunds offer immediate financial reimbursement, store credits can encourage customers to make future purchases from your business.

Also, do note that there are some people who prefer to get their cash back even if they are loyal customers. Meanwhile, some buyers might want to receive store credits because it can make their next shopping experience easier. No matter what your customers may want, clearly state the policy for each refund type to avoid confusion and set customer expectations upfront.

Make the Return Policy Easy to Find

Even the best return policy is ineffective if customers can’t easily locate it. Thus, make sure that your return policy is prominently displayed and easily accessible on your website. Two of the most common areas to put it are either on your website’s main navigation bar or footer. Consider creating a dedicated “Returns” page as well, that provides comprehensive information about the policy. Additionally, include a summary of the return policy on product pages to reassure customers during the purchasing process.

Crafting a customer-friendly return policy is a vital aspect of building a successful ecommerce business. By following these tips, you can create a return policy that fosters trust, provides clarity, and enhances the overall customer experience. Remember, an effective return policy not only benefits your customers but also demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction. Implementing a well-crafted return policy can set your ecommerce business apart and contribute to long-term success.