Creating A Simple And Easy To Find Returns Policy

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Written By: John Wilson | 3 Minute Read or Listen


Having an effective returns policy is critical to a successful customer experience in the eCommerce world. Your Returns Policy can dictate whether a customer will choose to buy from you, or not. In fact, a general rule of thumb is that 66% of people check the Returns Policy for the item BEFORE they make their purchase. And, an overwhelming 80% won’t buy again if the returns process is inconvenient. So, writing a policy that is simple to understand and easy to find is the first step in understanding how to deal with the unpleasant, but unavoidable world of eCommerce merchandise returns.

By making your Return Policy easy to find, you decrease the chance of cart abandonment. This happens when a customer finds the product they like, but can’t locate the policy for returning the item if something goes wrong. This accounts for an eye opening 15% of possible purchases. Too many retailers bury the link in a page of terms and conditions from another hard to find link in the footer of their page. Here are the suggested places to put a link for the Returns Policy:

  • On the Product Page
  • On the Home Page
  • During Checkout
  • In the confirmation email
  • In the footer- clearly visible

An easy to find policy encourages the customer to make the purchase; and will build trust with the brand.

Another critical aspect of an efficient Returns Policy is its simplicity. If the policy is too complicated, the customer will move on to the next vendor. Every business is different, so creating the right policy for the right product will vary. Ask and answer the following questions:

  • How long does your customer have to return the product?
  • Does your customer receive store credit for a future purchase, or do they get their money back?
  • Can they only return it if it’s damaged or not as described, or can they return it if didn’t meet their expectations?
  • Packaging – does the product have to be returned in the original packaging?  What if the packaging is slightly damaged?
  • Who pays for returns? The more shipping fees you (the seller) absorb and pay for, the happier your customer will be. Whatever you decide, make it clear who pays for what.

Here is an example of a simple Return Policy (click here to see more examples):

“If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return the product and get a full refund or exchange the product for another one, be it similar or not. You can return a product for up to 30 days from the date you purchased it. Any product you return must be in the same condition you received it and in the original packaging. Please keep the receipt.”

While not perfect, this example covers the basics. Remember, the more complicated the policy is- the higher the chance of a customer going somewhere else to buy the product. Keeping the Returns Policy simple, and easy to find; are 2 good ways to make sure you keep the customer happy and avoid losing repeat business.

1 Comment

  1. Russ says:

    We have been doing eCommerce for years and it’s always surprising how hard it is to find the policy on returns sometimes. I’d rather be disappointed up front and make my decision then be angry after the fact!

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