It might also include the way you present and market your products. Having a Return Policy is a simple-but-effective way to protect your products and customers. That’s why you need to take your return policy seriously. While there isn't a law requiring ecommerce stores to have a Return Policy, you may need one if you wish to enforce your terms and parameters of returns and refunds. The Wix eCommerce platform provides businesses with all the professional tools and services they need to sell online and in-store. Especially for new eCommerce store owners, dealing with a lot of returns can eat into profits. Because returning an online purchase means arranging for shipping, ecommerce returns and exchanges are complicated. Happily, you can accomplish this without giving away the store when you know how to create an effective ecommerce return policy. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you have [X] days from your order date to make a return. A RMA system is the strategy and technology put in place to mange your returns. The winning formula to an e-commerce returns policy is to consider the entire process. Return Policy . Do you require an original packing slip? As hard as it can be – return policies are super important when it comes to running your business. Why it works: Rebel Girls clearly explains return cutoffs and requirements for different situations, as well as shares contact information to answer any customer questions. To stay competitive, many direct-to-consumer merchants choose to outsource logistics to a third-party logistics (3PL) company. This works best if you offer the same inventory in-store and online. Make the returns process a confusing hassle, and they won’t come back. Custom Domain Name That’s why 88% of shoppers characterize detailed product content as being extremely important to their purchasing decision. This goes for nearly anything on your site (especially product... 3. According to, while merchants are not required to accept returns, there are laws that require the disclosure of a refund and return policy, and it must be easily found on your online store for it be valid. Refund policy template for your website A good refund or return policy can help protect your company and win your customers’ trust, but making sure your language is clear and concise is extremely important. One of the keys to optimizing your ecommerce return policy is to make clear your returns and exchange processes. In the US, every state has their own law that addresses consumer refunds. E-commerce Return Policy TrueNorthShop is proud of its products and wants you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. One such aspect is the return policy. Depending on your profit margins, you can offer free returns or require customers to pay for the inbound shipping. Before the new year, make sure you have a straightforward returns process in place and that it’s clearly communicated across your website. Everything in brackets can be updated to fit your brand’s store. Products that require a certain fit, like apparel and footwear, will have an understandably higher return rate than a one-size-fits-all product. Include Your Return Policy in Confirmation Emails However, the way you handle returns and refunds on your store makes a lot of difference to customers. 5 Things to Consider When Creating your eCommerce Return Policy. What you can learn from this policy: Offer a shipping label and a reasonable deduction ($5.99) to satisfy customers’ expectations and make returns easy. Another way is to use past returns data and identify what product or SKU has a higher returns rate than others. Unlike brick-and-mortar retail, ecommerce often requires customers to make a purchase decision without ever having interacted with or experienced the product in person. This policy also offers free store credit and exchanges with no shipping or handling fee. It usually consists of a digital form that the customer submits to request a refund. In fact, 5 million packages are returned to retailers in the first week of January alone. Customers expect at least 30 days to return an online purchase. Your sales volume, brand awareness, and return logistics will determine how severely your return rate impacts your profits. A customer’s doorstep isn’t always your product’s final destination. A good return policy can also help you improve customer retention and loyalty. For example. In addition, refunds sometimes take several days to reach customers. Returns Rates Are Higher in Ecommerce Than Regular Retail. You can have a tab for it on your main site menu, but most online retailers keep it in the footer menu. As you can see, you don’t need to compete with big brands like Gap and Bed Bath & Beyond that offer free returns. 8 Best Practices For A Great Ecommerce Returns Policy: 1. But that doesn’t mean you can’t seek to delight and impress your customers. One way to do this is by working with a 3PL to automate the reverse logistics process. You’ll find plenty of return policy templates for ecommerce businesses online, though it’s important to assess the quality and completeness of any template you intend to use. © Copyright 2020 ShipBob, Inc. All Rights Reserved. As online sales increase year over year, so do ecommerce return rates. The ecommerce surge of 2020 has many businesses also facing a surge of product returns. No one likes the hassle of returning products, but a closer look at the eCommerce returns process reveals that the negative implications are widespread. Customers who are happy with the way you handle returns are more likely to buy from you again. Try to not use expressions such as “you must” or, one of the most used of all time, “we are not responsible for” 3. First of all, every ecommerce store must have some kind of return policy. This gives gift recipients ample time to return unwanted items. As is a concise and coherent refund policy (where applicable), informing customers of their rights in the event of dissatisfaction with the products and services provided. A lack of a straightforward returns policy complicates the process. This is even more important if you’re not competing on price. Here is the current state of ecommerce returns: Like it’s done with two-day and same-day shipping, Amazon Prime has made free returns synonymous with ecommerce for many shoppers. During the holiday shopping season, the ecommerce return rate can jump as high as 30% during the holiday shopping season. As a new store with mid-priced products, you can offer a very basic return policy. Being able to track shipments to your customers can also help prevent fraud. 67% of online shoppers say that they check a store’s return policy before deciding to make a purchase. The answer is up to you, and your decision on the best response will likely shift over time. Every business must tailor their return policy to fit their logistics capabilities, customer expectations, and product offering. As every seller knows returns can be like a double edge weapon: attacking profit margins; gutting conversion rates; ultimately threatening your business. Free shipping on orders over a certain amount can help boost sales, too. Awesome Ecommerce Return Policy Template. How to Create the Right eCommerce Return Policy for Your Business (with Examples). There is no one-size-fits-all return policy, but here is a general ecommerce return policy template to get you started. Do certain products, such as handmade or customized items, need a different policy? With a prediction of $124.1 billion in ecommerce sales this holiday season, businesses are set to see a huge influx in orders. Returns are an inevitable cost of business for eCommerce stores. on your site and respond using the mobile app. An ultra-generous policy — operated and managed well — can drive growth. There aren’t many states or countries where it’s legally acceptable to say ‘all sales are final’, ‘no returns’ or ‘no refunds’. The truth is, there’s no easy answer, and the right approach depends on your profit margins and your growth plans. Refrain from including packing slips that list prices, or even include a gift receipt with instructions on how to return gifts. If you’re selling low-priced products, you’re limited to a very small markup. One way is to describe your product well, including product details, photos, and more. The same applies to retail stores. Opened boxes are not available for return. Sometimes you Great Ecommerce Return Policy = More Sales and Happy Customers. . Because having words on a page doesn’t mean the entire process is automated or guarantee it will happen smoothly. As the overall rate … Handling returns is a huge part of managing your eCommerce business. 79% of customers won’t purchase from an online store that charges return shipping fees. If you invest in your reverse supply chain, retrieving products from your customers, then you can actually save your business money. If you created your store with Wix, you can install Wix Chat on your site and respond using the mobile app. Different return policies work for different businesses’ customers and needs. A Return Policy or a Refund Policy is used by ecommerce stores to inform customers about a store's policies on returns and refunds of purchased items. Knowing how to manage your eCommerce return policy will benefit your business in many ways. What your competitors are doing might dictate what sort of return policy you should offer. An eCommerce company’s return policy is essentially a marketing tool. When you invest in paid marketing to cold traffic and other growth campaigns, you’ll want to make sure that you have nothing working against you. Actually have a return policy. Send follow up emails to customers after they purchase to ask their opinion on your product and their experience. The customer is responsible for shipping costs, and the customer must email support to initiate the return. If you can afford to lose some money on returns, go ahead and lower that fee by a few dollars so you don’t run the risk of lowering your product conversion rates. Many customers will simply search online for your return policy, so make sure it’s optimized for search engines. Returns and refunds are a daily reality for eCommerce store owners. Penske found that businesses that invest in improving reverse logistics processes see a 12% increase in customer satisfaction and a 4% decrease in cost. Return Policy We’ll accept return requests for items that are unopened, unused, with the original tags still intact. The chatbot prompts customers to leave their email addresses when you’re away. Not a simple set of rules, but increasingly a real competitive weapon. They expect shoppers to buy more than they need and send some items back. Returnly integrates with both Shopify to streamline the returns process for merchants and customers alike by automatically processing returns and refunds. Around half of all US and Canadian online shoppers say they won’t buy from eCommerce websites that don’t offer free returns. The question is, at your current stage, what matters most? Online Store Templates When creating your policies, write plainly and politely. Make sure that you clarify your gift refund policy, as well; most merchants (including Amazon) allow gifts to be returned for a gift card, minus any return shipping and restocking fees. Creating a return policy isn’t the most beautiful side of running an eCommerce business, and it’s even disheartening to know someone dislikes your product and demands a refund. 3PL companies help ecommerce brands scale by automating inventory management, order fulfillment, and, of course, returns. In fact, UPS has dubbed the second and largest spike in returns as “National Returns Day,” which is expected to occur on January 2, 2020 with 1.9 million packaged returned to UPS alone. Customers return products for many reasons such as a damaged product, wrong item, product looks different than online, or they purposely ordered different sizes or colors. As customer expectations evolve, retailers have to keep up, especially around holiday sales (and returns) season. You’ll also need to consider profitability. There are associated costs with the required expenses and work that goes into receiving returns, repacking, and restocking products. We do not accept returns for perishable items, intimate items, gift cards, downloadable products, and beauty items. For example, Luxy Hair extensions include a swatch on the box so customers can match it to their hair before they open the box. 72% of online customers expect a refund credit within 5 days of returning merchandise. What this policy features: Unless the products are defective, returns are not accepted. Handle internal logistics. . Bare Necessities eBoutique’s return policy. Gathering information on the return side can help you identify trends and issues with your products and make the necessary improvements to future inventory. If your target audience is used to free returns, you’ll need to follow suit. Handling returns is a huge part of managing your eCommerce business. If done right, they’ll increase customer trust and loyalty to your brand. If your product is something that consumers wear (clothing or shoes) or for whatever other reason is challenging for consumers to make a decision about online, then you will likely need to offer returns. With over $369 billion in sales lost to returns last year, online merchants can’t afford not to build a best-in-class ecommerce return policy. She researches and writes everything you need to know about the latest trends and best practices in ecommerce. A lingerie or clothing site might want to use live chat support to answer questions about fit and offer personalized advice. Build your eCommerce return policy with examples from industry leaders like Ikea, Best Buy and Maple Holistics. Way back in 2010 (a century ago, in internet years), online shoe retailer Zappos had already figured out that the customers who make the most returns were also the ones who made the most purchases. If Best Buy’s return policy resembles differential algebra, IKEA’s return policy is like third-grade math. In this guide to eCommerce returns, we cover policy creation, return reduction, and return logistics so you can protect your profits while satisfying customers. While images are amazing, for some products, like toys, gadgets, and hobby items, videos are much more effective at showcasing how the product looks and feels in real life. Jon Josef does a great job of keeping their return policy simple and to the point. But create a transparent, seamless policy and process, and you’ll see a boost in brand loyalty — and your bottom line. But consumers expect a lot from online sellers. doesn’t permit returns of activated watches. Download the webinar recording to watch the entire presentation. People love buying goods through ecommerce retailers because it’s so convenient. What address should customers send returns to? For some businesses, it may not make sense to offer returns at all. That’s a high amount. 67% of customers first check the return policy before finalizing on any purchase and over 62% of shoppers are more inclined to return the product after making a purchase. In brick-and-mortar retailers, it's easy to return or exchange a product. Here are the typical return statistics by product type: Average of all eCommerce returns: 15 - 30%. They let customers know what exactly is required for a return, as well as what to expect in terms of processing time. A standard return policy for handmade, customized artwork will be completely different from a policy for mass-market apparel. Free shipping on orders over a certain amount can help boost sales, too. Encourage customers who make returns to fill out a form to explain what went wrong. This could be because more established eCommerce companies tend to have more liberal return policies or because as their brand awareness grows, consumers feel less guilty returning products to a corporation than a mom-and-pop online store. Return policy can be a potential business upliftment strategy. Why you need a return policy in ecommerce. Transparency is equally important once your customers’ returns are on their way back to you or your ecommerce fulfillment partner. High return rates are a problem for eCommerce sellers. Not only is it bad for business, it’s bad for the planet too—leading to 5 billion pounds a year of globally returned goods. E-Commerce Returns Policy Sales Killer #2: You Don’t Follow Up After the Return. They also don’t allow returns of sale items. Products in new condition can be returned within 15 days, and if received after, store credit will be issued. Make sure each element answers all the questions listed below. To make sure the maximum amount of your returned inventory is able to be resold, add stipulations in your policy. Your process should make it extremely easy for your customers to make a return, which means making our process simple. In the case of a chargeback by a customer, you’ll have proof that the order was delivered. When your policy is complete, make sure to link it in the footer of your website with the link text “Returns” or “Return Policy” so it is very easy to find. First, determine whether your return policy … The uncertainty that comes with online shopping makes ecommerce returns inevitable. The Wix eCommerce platform provides businesses with all the professional tools and services they need to sell online and in-store. Here are a few return policy examples from a variety of ShipBob clients. Outsource to experts. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, consider allowing customers to buy online and return in store (often referred to as BORIS). Will you accept returns of all products, or only defective ones? 58% of customers say they want a hassle-free return policy, and 47% want an easy-to-print return label. We do not accept returns or exchanges unless the item you purchased is defective. If possible, provide shipping labels alongside either free or affordable returns. For instance, if you offer a shirt in several different colors and one color tends be returned more often, consider discontinuing it to lower your overall returns rate. With online shopping, what you see isn’t always what you get. The reality is that e-commerce returns can be a difficult area to navigate. Work proactively to get feedback so you can improve your product. Assuming your products are 100% equal in quality, price, and availability a clean, clear and reassuring return policy could be what makes the difference in a customer deciding to buy from you and not a competitor. For these reasons, it can be tempting to ignore the reality of returns and exchanges and leave the mounting problem unaddressed. To improve your return policy, there are two main areas to focus on. This can include providing customers with prepaid return labels, sharing return tracking information, and even supporting integrations that will automatically text return and refund updates to customers. Chicago, IL 60607, Download the PDF version of the infographic here, 5 Steps to Build Loyalty Through Online Returns. The cost of return shipping [will/will not] be deducted from your refund. Make sure to include any other important details that are specifically relevant to your store. Assess the quality of the item, do product testing, and check in with your manufacturer to address any production or quality issues. What you can learn from it: If you are selling something with a technical or electronic element, it’s a smart idea to offer reimbursement or payment of inbound shipping for defective products. Thank you for shopping with [Business Name]. This will make sure that your customer has the best sense of what he/she is ordering. The nature of ecommerce makes it harder to spot and prevent return fraud than in brick-and-mortar stores. Exchanges [Delete if you select Option 1]. However, as your business grows, investing in your returns process can pay dividends. Unfortunately, more orders means a greater number of returns during the first few weeks in January. Make sure that the product pages on your website are descriptive and include high-quality, accurate product photos. If you’re concerned that not offering returns will harm your sales, increase your conversion rate using professional. Because having words on a page doesn’t mean the entire process is automated or guarantee it will happen smoothly. You will receive a refund in the form of [a credit to your original payment method/a gift card] within [X] days of us receiving your return. Breakages This is a fairly obvious one and begins with checking your packaging methods. About 15 to 40 percent of online purchases are returned. But, as you’ll see, you have plenty of options, and none of them are scary. For example. Will you offer store credit for returns received late? You get 365 days to return an item for a full refund unless the item is “found to be dirty, stained, damaged or abused.” The returning customer only needs to present a photo ID and pay for shipping, pick up, or return it to an IKEA store. At what return rate, are your profits negatively impacted in a major way? Join over 500,000 stores worldwide—run and scale your eCommerce business on Wix. What you can learn from it: If you’re not ready to offer returns, you don’t have to. Facebook 0; Twitter; Pinterest 1; LinkedIn; Strategic building your e-commerce business needs you to focus on multiple aspects. you have a larger product selection on your online store than in-person, you will have to choose between shipping some in-store returns back to your fulfillment center or having one-off products for sale in your physical store. This small investment in the packaging likely adds up to an enormous amount of recovered inventory. Every return policy template requires a quick link to print a return form and shipping label. To minimize this cost, offer store credit or don’t allow returns at all (until you’re ready). In 2016, Ecommerce Europe issued a ‘Ecommerce Benchmark & Retail’ report , which included interesting statistics on online returns in Europe. There are many different types of return fraud, such as “wardrobing,” which refers to customers purchasing an item, using it, and then returning it used. When you work hard to perfect your products, it can be painful to see a return request come into your inbox. Ensuring a quick return and refund process will keep customers coming back to your store time and time again. Given the hassle and costs associated with returns, it may be tempting to just say that you won’t do it. Here are five important factors to take into account before creating your business’s return policy. eCommerce shoppers are open to buy from small businesses who don’t offer that. The same applies to retail stores. No matter what policy you put in place for the customer, you also have to manage the impact to your business. Once your policy is generated, you’ll be able to tweak and customize it until it's a perfect fit. Five Tips For A Great eCommerce Return Policy. E-Commerce Returns Policy Sales Killer #2: You Don’t Follow Up After the Return. You don’t have to let returns swallow your business. What you can learn from it: The store encourages customers to contact them before initiating a return, so that they can discover the cause for dissatisfaction and hopefully resolve it without the need for a return. Consider creating packaging that allows customers to get a sense of the product without needing to open it. Create short paragraphs that discuss each of these 4 elements. For those selling product categories with higher return rates, such as apparel or footwear, the risk of losing sales is even higher. A lingerie or clothing site might want to use live chat support to answer questions about fit and offer personalized advice. If they look confused then maybe there's something wrong with your labels. November 3, 2019. If your competitors aren’t offering this, you have a chance to one up them. Business Email In circumstances... 3. Logo Maker With the huge influx of returns after the holidays, automating the return process can make an otherwise overwhelming workload more manageable. Do customers need to email support to initiate returns? online shoppers say they won’t buy from eCommerce websites that don’t offer free returns. If you don’t, you risk alienating early shoppers who are buying gifts well in advance of the holidays. Every return policy template requires a quick link to print a return form and shipping label. The chatbot prompts customers to leave their email addresses when you’re away. Create an effective return policy to run your eCommerce venture smarter, better for the best results for you and your customers. Do customers need to print their receipt and include it in the box? Return volume during peak shopping season is often more than ecommerce businesses are prepared to handle in-house. It’s also worth noting that there is no federal law that requires a merchant to refund money. If you typically only offer 30 days (or fewer) for returns, consider extending your window for holiday returns. Download the PDF version of the infographic here. Ecommerce merchants must be prepared — from shipping and logistics to creating a return policy that meets expectations and encourages customers to buy.Want to learn more about making returns a competitive advantage for your business? Why you need a return policy in ecommerce. You can reach out to unhappy customers who left negative reviews or social media comments to understand their concerns. It’s much easier to shop from the comfort of your home than it is to find parking, wander through a department store and wait in a checkout line. They typically include the return window, supported return types, accepted return conditions, and who is responsible for return shipping. 2. If you’re able to offer free returns, you don’t need to shout it from the rooftops. There’s a shipping fee and a handling fee for returns so that the store is able to offer refunds without this eating into their profits substantially. How do you currently handle the authorization of returns? What this policy features: Kaxi offers clear, simple instructions to customers. This is especially vital during busy shopping times when new customers are forming their first impressions about a merchant or brand. Write your ecommerce returns policy with a conversational and friendly tone. For example, if clothing items are being returned because they are too large, you may be able to identify a potential sizing issue with your manufacturer. Lets face it: Writing your shipping and returns policies in an engaging, informing way is daunting and even overwhelming. You don’t want a stingy return policy to deter them from completing their order. If you have more specific requirements for returns, such as only accepting damaged products or requiring merchant authorization, you’ll want to state those clearly throughout the policy.
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