Best Practices for eCommerce Returns and Refunds

eCommerce Returns & Refunds Made Easy for Customers 

Making returns simple and easy can increase your profits 

eCommerce returnsReturns can be burdensome for an eCommerce business. However, they are a necessity to keep your customers spending, satisfied and loyal. According to Zappos, some of their best customers frequently return items. They found that customers who bought high-end shoes had a 50% return rate, but the profit made from those customers was more than enough to compensate for their generous return policy. Making customers feel confident that your eCommerce store will let them return items if they aren’t satisfied will earn you loyal and repeat customers. 

Make Returns Easy

The best practice when dealing with returns is making them simple for the customer. If returns are easy to make, your customers are more likely to continue doing business with your eCommerce company. 

Clearly Stated and Visible Return Policy 

When writing your return policy, it needs to be written in simple, easy to understand language. Customers will be discouraged to buy from you if they can’t understand your return policy because it is written in legalese. Your return policy also needs to be easily found on your site. Having a link to your return policy on every product page keeps your customer informed and could help sway their decision about whether or not to buy your products. 

free eCommerce returnsOffer Free Returns 

There are always costs involved when processing and handling returns. However, those costs need to be weighed against the positives that free returns bring. Customers might be more persuaded to buy an item that they are on the fence about if they know that they can return it for free. According to Lab42, a marketing research firm, 87% of customers are more likely to shop at an online store that offers free returns. The gains from offering free returns can greatly outweigh the costs. 

Return Packing Slip Included with Every Purchase 

While it may seem counterintuitive, it is actually very smart to enclose a preprinted packing slip and label with every order. The slips not only make it easy for the customer to return their items, it also allows the business to include extra information on the packing slip that may be helpful when processing the return. Customers have come to expect a preaddressed and prepaid return packing label. If your eCommerce store isn’t including a prepaid return label with purchases, chances are next time the customer is looking to buy an item; they will take their business elsewhere. 

multichannel returns for eCommerceMultichannel Returns 

If your business happens to be both online and brick-and-mortar, you need to offer multichannel returns. If a customer buys an item from your site but isn’t satisfied with it, they should be able to return it at your store’s physical location, even if it is something that you don’t normally carry in stock. Giving your customers multiple avenues to return items leads to greater customer satisfaction and repeat customers. 

Easy Exchanges 

In some cases, a customer buys an item and loves it, but it isn’t the right size or color. In those instances, your eCommerce business needs to make it easy for the customer to make an exchange. Sending the customer the item they want in the right size without extra hassles or transactions can guarantee your store an extremely pleased customer who will want to do business with you again. 

Feedback is a Must 

When a customer returns an item, give them a chance to tell you why they are returning it. It can be as simple as having them check a box on a return packing slip. The feedback can provide you with valuable information that can help reduce the number of returns that you have to deal with. If you notice a pattern with returns, take action to correct the issue if you can. For example, if items are being returned because they are not fitting correctly, ensure that the product dimensions are clearly stated on your product pages. Feedback on returns can be very valuable to both the eCommerce business and the customers. 

Clarity Can Help 

Another best practice for handling returns and refunds is having an eCommerce platform that is capable of keeping track of returns and making it easy for your store to handle them. Our Clarity eCommerce platform is built to help you manage your eCommerce returns and refunds seamlessly. To find out more about how Clarity eCommerce can help your eCommerce business make returns easier, call or click to contact us today!