Whether your small to medium-sized E-Commerce business is shipping products through a courier, air freight or via post, it’s probably fair to say that shipping a product to your customer is one of the most important tasks on your agenda.
That’s because excellent shipping differentiates your company. Everything from the price of your delivery options, how fast you ship an item, whether customers can track their delivery, how easy the overall delivery experience is for a customer and how you pack your products all play a vital role in how your customers perceive your brand.
Many organizations, however, forget one simple thing. Your company’s return policy can also significantly affect the overall customer experience (CX) that your brand offers.
How does your return policy affect your business?
Returns can have a serious impact on your company. The price of lost sales, decreased conversions, restocking expenses, inventory losses and wasted customer service time can seriously impact your bottom line.
In fact, Statista estimates that return deliveries will cost US businesses alone $550 billion by 2020 - 75.2 per cent more than four years prior.
However, did you know that your return policy can be turned into an opportunity to drive profit?
A study from Navar found that 96 per cent of customers would shop with a retailer again based on an “easy” or “very easy” return experience, while further research from Dotcom Distribution found 62 per cent of consumers “would buy again” from a brand offering free returns or exchanges.
So, on that note, ClickShip by Freightcom has listed four key ways that your organization can improve its return policy, driving future sales, creating a loyal customer base and improving your customer experience.
1 - Make it easy to read
The first step of creating your return policy is to make it as approachable, easy to read and as upfront as you possibly can. Your return policy should clearly outline the rules regarding returns, what your customer needs to do and avoid containing any hidden disclaimers.
Today’s customer experience is driven by trust. Customers want to know that you care about their satisfaction at every step of their journey with your brand, not just when you are making the sale.
Drawing up a return and refund policy that clearly explains how customers can proceed with returns and what returns your organization will accept, will go a long way to show your customers that your brand cares about them.
2 - Set up free shipping for returns
It may sound counter-intuitive. Returns cost your company money, right? So why then should you allow your customers to return products for free? After all, this may only encourage customers to return products more frequently.
While this may be true in some cases, your return policy can actually have a huge impact on whether your customer makes their purchase in the first place - or on future visits to your website.
Investing in free returns is a great way to show your customer’s good faith. By making it clear that returning items won’t affect your customers financially, your company will be able to significantly enhance your customer experience. In turn, this will help you build a loyal customer base that, ultimately, drives more sales.
3 - Make your return policy easy to find
Creating a world-class return policy is all well and good, but you need to make it visible on your website if you want it to have any impact on your customers’ purchase decision. Make your full return policy visible at some point on your website, prior to a customer making a purchase.
By giving your customers more knowledge and control over their purchase, you’ll improve customer satisfaction metrics and ensure you receive fewer complaints.
4 - Ship your return policy with your products
Even if you make your return policy easy to find on your website, customers may miss it or need a further reminder. Inserting a note into the package of the products that you are delivering will reiterate your return process and policy.
The more transparent E-Commerce companies are with their customers, the faster they will establish trust. By building trust and improving the CX, you’ll be able to create a group of loyal followers that drive future sales.
Are you looking for more information about how your return policy can enhance your customer experience, or simply want to ask how ClickShip’s innovative, easy-to-use shipping solution can save your business time and money? Contact our team of experts today.