Whether you are a traditional bricks and mortar business or an ecommerce-based business shipping products through a courier, air freight or via post, it’s probably fair to say that shipping products to your customers is one of the most important tasks on your agenda. Having a customer-centric return policy in place is especially important this year as the pandemic has created a surge of online shoppers.Excellent shipping differentiates your company. Everything — from the price of your delivery options, to how fast you ship an item, to whether customers can track their delivery to 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) 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 affect your bottom line.
In fact, Statista estimates that return deliveries will cost U.S. businesses alone $550 billion by 2020 — 75.2% more than four years prior.
However, did you know your return policy can be turned into an opportunity to drive profit?
A study from Navar found that 96% 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% 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 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 possible. Your return policy should clearly outline the rules regarding returns, what your customer needs to do and avoid any hidden disclaimers.
Today’s customer experience is driven by trust. Customers want to know you care about their satisfaction at every step of their journey with your brand, not just at 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 your brand cares about them.
2 - Set up free shipping for returns
It may sound counter-intuitive as returns cost your company money. So why should you allow your customers to return products for free? After all, this may 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 customers make their purchase in the first place or on future visits to your website.
Investing in free returns is a great way to show your customers good faith. By making it clear returning items won’t affect your customers financially, your business 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 clear and visible on your website if you want it to have any impact on your customers’ purchase decisions. Make your full return policy visible at some point on your website, prior to a customer making a purchase or make it available for those who have shopped in person.
By giving your customers more knowledge and control over their purchase, you will improve customer satisfaction metrics and ensure you receive fewer complaints.
4 - Include 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 products you are delivering will reiterate your return process and policy.
The more transparent ecommerce-based 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.
You can enhance customer experience further with an innovative, cost-effective shipping solution that makes you stand out against competition.
ClickShip, innovative easy-to-use shipping solution for eCommerce stores that manages your shipping process and provides exclusive discounted carrier rates, might just be the solution you're looking for.