Whether you are a small or large business operating in the eCommerce world, you will know just how much customer loyalty can help drive your profits. On the flip side, you'll also know just how much product returns can damage those profits.
An IHL study commissioned by OrderDynamics estimates that consumers make $642.6 billion worth in returns per year, with US shoppers alone contributing $221.7 billion to that number.
In an ideal world your customers would always buy exactly what they want, in the right size and the right colour, without ever changing their mind. Unfortunately, online consumers can’t physically see and hold a product before they purchase it, meaning returns are a necessary part of any eCommerce business.
Did you know, however, that a good return policy can improve customer satisfaction, enhance customer engagement and create a superior customer experience that creates loyal customers and boosts profits?
How exactly can a good return policy have all these benefits?
A good return policy is vital because it plays a large role in the entire customer experience (CX) that a consumer has with your business. In fact, delighting your customer at every step of their journey is now crucial.
This is because innovative eCommerce brands such as Amazon are changing the perception of value amongst consumers. Perceived value is no longer a matter of price, it’s the entire customer experience from the first point of contact with a customer and every single one that follows thereafter.
It’s no longer enough to provide basic customer support. eCommerce companies must become customer-centric and create strategic plans that improve the overall customer experience of their organization - allowing them to offer frictionless support across every customer touchpoint.
It’s not just superior products that consumers want. With stiff competition across all industries, customers now want something more - and a customer-centric return policy could be the deciding factor between your company and a competitor.
In fact, according to a UPS Pulse study, 88 percent of online shoppers reviewed a retailer’s return policy, and 67 percent of those checked the policy details before ever making a purchase.
A return policy clearly not only improves your overall CX, but it’s also an important factor in a consumer’s buying decision.
How do I create a good return policy?
It’s easy to create a simple return policy that states all products need to be returned in 14 days for a full refund, but the easy way out has never improved the customer experience and driven brand loyalty.
Instead, think about how a more strategic approach could help the growth of your business.
To help you create a return policy that your customers will love, Freightcom has listed four key best practices below:
- Make your return policy easily accessible - Place a link to your returns policy in an easy-to-find area of your website, and also under your “add to cart” button. Building brand loyalty is all about becoming a company that consumers can trust, and accessibility to information is crucial for that.
- Make sure your policy is clear and concise - Your return policy should be clear and concise, so don’t make it any more confusing than it needs to be. Think about the key questions your customer might have about returning an item, answer them and ensure the entire process is quick and easy.
- Offer free returns if possible - According to the Huffington Post, over 60% of returns are due to shipping errors. While it’s important to ensure you have a system in place that automates your shipping process and reduces errors, offering free returns can give you a competitive edge and show customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make them happy.
- Don't copy and paste - There are many return policy templates out there. These are great as a guide, but never just copy and paste. You need a return policy that is fit for the uniqueness of your brand and the products you sell.
Are you looking for help implementing a shipping system that will transform your customer experience and help build a loyal customer base? Contact the Freightcom team of experts today and find out how we can help.