As ecommerce retail continues to rise, merchants are facing higher demands to keep customers satisfied. Now more than ever, consumers are looking at a seller’s return and refund policy as part of their product evaluation. Set yourself above the ecommerce competition in 2021 with the right return policy for your business.
Why are return policies so important for your ecommerce business? In short:
- Customers expect access to a clear and detailed refunds and returns policy
- They give the business authority as a customer-focused establishment
- Big companies have set the stage for return policies playing into brand image
- They build consumer loyalty
Keep reading to find out why you need to create or update your ecommerce return policy to win out over the competition this year.
1. Ecommerce Buyers Want Return Policies
For more than half the shopping population (66 percent according to a survey by UPS), a happy shopping experience includes reviewing a return policy prior to purchase.
- Almost 90% of all surveyed shoppers review return and refund policies at some point during or after the sale.
- 15% abandon the purchase altogether if they can’t find or don’t understand the merchant’s return policy statement.
Based on the behaviors indicated in these statistics, consumers consider the return and refund policy an integral part of their purchasing decision.
2. Boost Your Business’s Reputation
A well-written return and refund statement establishes your credibility as a merchant and shows that your online store is consumer-focused in an intensely competitive market.
Having policies like a money back guarantee in your returns statement will signal to customers that you’re confident in your offerings, and you value their experience as shoppers.
When given a choice, consumers want to buy from credible, respectful vendors.
3. Top Companies Use Return Policies to Build Their Brand
Top-tier merchants have embraced the possibility of product returns and use them as an advantage in their marketing efforts.
These companies emphasize the ease and clarity of the returns and refunds early in the shopping experience and as clearly and transparently as possible. By doing so, these companies underscore:
- Consumer confidence in their brand
- The high value they place on their customer’s satisfaction
Example 1: Amazon’s Ecommerce Returns
It’s no surprise that Amazon leads the ecommerce market.
The company’s return policies help drive its overwhelming online success: consumers know before they buy that items shipped from Amazon.com are returnable within 30 days of receipt of the shipment. These details are explicit in the company’s return policy and advertised throughout the website.
As of 2017, Amazon overrode the return policies of third-party sellers and now mandates that all such merchants automatically accept all product returns.
To ease the process, customers need only to follow a three-step process:
- Go to the Amazon returns page
- Find the seller’s information
- Print out the pre-paid return label
Sellers who market their wares on Amazon’s site must have a return address on file and agree to make a full refund for the returned goods within two days after receiving them.
Walmart and Best Buy: Branding through Returns Policies
- Walmart reserves its right to limit or decline returns with or without a receipt. Further, the company will assist a disgruntled consumer if its third-party, marketplace (Walmart.com) seller balks at accepting returned goods.
- Within 15 days of receipt of a returned, “non-activated” product, Best Buy will replace or repair, or accept the return of goods that do not satisfy its customers.
Best Buy and Walmart are examples of companies which have mastered the art of incorporating their return and refund policies into their brand image.
Even though their policies are arguably stricter than many other retailers, their success in clearly outlining and displaying the details of their policies put customer minds at ease and play a big role in their marketing.
4. Honoring Ecommerce Returns Best Practices Builds Brand Loyalty
Successful vendors prominently display the full statement of all their return and refund policies and ensure that those are written as clearly as possible to fully inform any consumer about how they can manage the return and refund process.
Considering that it costs five times as much to create a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, ecommerce sites reduce the total cost of returns and increase their customer retention numbers by providing a clear and convenient return policy for their customers.
If you need help putting a comprehensive policy together or polishing up your existing one, download a free return policy template, or create a custom policy using our refund and return policy generator.