Consumers today have more options than ever to find the best purchase experience and typically choose the one that gives them the least likelihood of regret. While simply cutting prices is an easy way to prevent buyer’s remorse, it’s also a race to the bottom with shrinking margins and a disloyal customer base. On the other hand, committing to a first-rate returns policy can help you differentiate from the competition, boosting sales and building customer loyalty.
Customers are making more online purchases than ever, in large part thanks to the return policies from companies like Amazon. Just last year, consumers returned $428 billion in merchandise; it’s now a massive component of the customer journey and a great way to differentiate your store from the competition. Here are 4 easy ways to use your return policy to grow your customer base and increase revenue.
Offer Fast, Simple Returns that Delight Customers
Customers who are satisfied with the returns process are 95% more likely to shop with that retailer again. To satisfy customers you need to make the process simple and fast. Make the policy easy to understand, spell out how many days they have to return their items, keep the list of disqualified items clear, and set expectations on when they’ll be refunded. Then, when it comes to processing returns, make it as easy as possible. Use a returns portal to initiate the return and generate an RMA, then send your customers prepaid labels via Shippo and clear instructions on what to do and how to package their return.
Use Return-as-an-Option to Cover Non-Returnable Merchandise
Studies show that 18% of shoppers will abandon their cart after discovering that an item isn’t returnable, but sometimes stores just can’t afford returns on certain merchandise. This could happen when the merchandise is from last season, it’s been customized, or maybe it’s a consumable. Unfortunately, the financials just don’t allow for returns. In this case, we’d recommend a Return-as-an-Option solution like Kover’s Return Assurance. If a customer chooses to add Return Assurance on a final sale item, then Kover would pay any refunds resulting from that purchase.
Promote Your Returns Policy Throughout the Funnel
Almost half of all shoppers say they check the return policy before buying. No one has time or really wants to read the small print so if you have a great returns policy, then flaunt it! It’s what customers are looking for. Highlight your general policy on the homepage, include a policy summary on product pages and in the checkout flow. The key is to make sure your customer doesn’t have to leave the purchase flow in order to answer their returns questions.
Highlight and Leverage Customer Testimonials to Ease Concerns
We all know that actions speak louder than words and what better way to show that online than through customer testimonials. The stats show that 63% of customers are more likely to trust a site that has user reviews. Since creating an outstanding returns experience doesn’t do you any good if customers don’t believe you’ll follow through on your word, you should ask customers who experience your returns process to leave a review. You can then include the testimonials on your site, in your emails, in social media posts, you name it! This will reinforce to your customers that their purchase is risk free and help them overcome any hesitation they may have.
Returns are a crucial part of the customer journey and if you can get ahead of the evolving expectations customers have, you can turn your return policy into a steady revenue generator for years to come. Once you come up with a plan, don’t be afraid to work with third party apps and services to streamline operations or provide the best customer experience. And don’t neglect how important returns can be for your bottom line.