THE IMPORTANCE OF
A CLEAR REFUND POLICY
In this newly e-commerce focused world, customers expect it all, and they want it now. However, without a clear refund policy in place, your buyers are less likely to trust your brand. In fact, 48% of shoppers would shop more with online retailers that offer hassle-free returns. (*)
Customers will be conscious of buying from a retailer if they can’t give a guarantee on the products they’re selling. A crisp, clear and well-presented refund policy provides customers with a sense of security and the assurance that their purchase will be as advertised.
A clear sale
When shopping online, customers don’t get to see products in the flesh; take away this inconvenience with a clear and straightforward refunds policy that the consumer can rely on if the product is not how they had perceived.
A successful refund policy should clarify critical questions. Is the product suitable to return? (e.g. food products are often non-refundable in non-supermarket commerce), how long does the refund policy last for and is the customer eligible for a full refund or store credit.
Tips for a clear refund policy
A survey from CollectPlus found that 27% of consumers are put off ordering something online in the first place because they do not want the hassle of returning it if it is not right.
Put your returns policy first.
The returns policy is usually found in the footer of a website, which is to be expected, but the returns policy can often influence the decision of purchasing an item if customers are not 100% sure.
A prominent link to the returns policy on product pages will put customers at ease when considering a purchase, as they will see straight away that they can return an item without hassle. Making it as easy as possible for customers to get in touch is key to becoming a trustworthy website to purchase from. 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online. (*)
Provide information with packaging
Where picking and packing are concerned, ensuring the correct information is included inside each package is essential. This can include a returns slip, information on the item and how to return it with directions. Some retailers may believe that making returns more difficult will reduce overall rates, but this is not the way to do it. Consumers will feel uncomfortable without the simple option of returning an item if it’s not what they expected.
67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase, and 92% of consumers surveyed said that they would buy again if the product return process is easy. (*)
Be honest from the get-go
As well as providing information within the package, be honest from the get go and provide enough information on your website with high-quality imagery and in depth descriptions of each product. Let users know they can contact you at the touch of a button should they have any questions.
Online chat options and utilising social media have become the go-to form of contact as they are a quick way for people to get answers without the hassle of making a phone call. 80% of consumers use social to engage with brands. (*)
Step up from competitors – offer free returns
Providing a free returns solution will not only put you ahead of competitors but also attract your customers to buy from you with ease. Customers will avoid buying from ‘online only’ sites if it leaves them stuck with a product they no longer want should they change their mind. Fast fashion sites such as Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo offer a free and straightforward returns process, promoting customer value and sales.
Request reviews, receive respect.
Sending a follow-up email to everyone that purchases from you, asking them to review the buying process, is the key to improving your services and promoting your transparent service to new and potential customers. When customers contribute their opinions to your site, it can help others decide to buy from you. This allows you to find out how a customer experienced your service and to improve any elements for future customers.
If you’re in fear of receiving negative feedback, set up your website, so you have to accept reviews before they appear publicly, that way you can resolve the issue before damaging your reputation.
Having a refund policy is key to your business. Not only does it prevent you from losing money, it gains trust and loyalty from present and future customers. These tips can help you create a clear, understandable policy that people can follow without confusion.
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