It is very common for clients to return products in the online shopping business, according to research 30% consumers chose to return in 2019. But it is interesting that consumers who return are often the most loyal customers. 82% of returning consumers are repeat customers, while 95% of consumers who are satisfied with the return process say they plan to continue buying from the seller in the future. So what kind of return policy will allow you to not only lose customers, but also gain loyal customers? How to develop a reasonable return policy, customers will feel satisfied, and solving key issues is vital to motivate them to make their first purchase and eventually purchase again. This article will introduce the basics refund strategy, focus on the elements that customers want to see, and some specific strategies that can be used to optimize the customer experience for Shopify dropshipping.
Often, the first thing you need to mention is how long a customer can return a purchase.
For example, British menswear brand Standout put this information at the top of the return policy page. In this way, consumers do not need to do a lot of digging to find the return period.
According to extensive research, 30 days is a good number, and 53% of consumers consider this to be the ideal return period.
As you can see from the chart above, only 5% of customers return goods after 30 days, so this is sufficient for most sellers.
In addition to the expiration date of the return, consumers also want to know that they need to bear less for the return.
Therefore, it is recommended to put the return fee after the return validity period.
Allbirds, an environmental footwear brand, does just that.
It can be seen that Allbirds provides customers with free returns. This is very important. After all, 79% of consumers do not want to pay shipping costs for returns.
While this may make your profit margins significantly less, increased long-term customer loyalty and increased repeat customers often make up for this. Therefore, it is advisable to organize all aspects of costs to determine whether this is feasible for your finances.
Some brands have strict policies that require customers to have a receipt to return, without exception.
However, retrieving electronic receipts via email is usually easy, so this should not be a problem for customers. Other brands\’ policies are more relaxed, as long as customers can provide other information to determine the source of purchase, no receipt is required. Either way works, but it\’s important to let customers know what your receipt policy is.
Nordstrom solves this problem well on its return page. They say receipts allow them to find orders faster, but are not required, as long as they can find records of sales or customers willing to provide them with personal information.
Letting customers know that your receipt policy can reduce them and your time.
Damaged Product Returns Policy
The primary reason for 20% of e-commerce customer returns is product damage. This shockingly high number illustrates how important it is to have a return policy for damaged products.
Milani Cosmetics was straightforward, saying they would refund customers or replace any damaged products. Customers would need to email photos of the damaged products first.
Include this information on your return policy page, and if customers receive a damaged product, they know what to do.
Product return condition requirements
With regard to product return conditions, different types of companies can make vary requirements.
For example, Zazzle, which customizes T-shirts on demand, allows customers to return goods under any circumstances without any special regulations.
Other Shopify dropshippers have a policy that products must be unopened to comply with the return policy. They also point out that accessories cannot be returned.
The return condition for clothing brand Oak Hall is that the product must not have been tried on, washed or damaged.
So this is another important factor you should include when writing your refund policy.
Being frank about the conditions of return and specific products that cannot be returned can increase transparency and tell customers what they need to know. This can be a great help in building trust and rapport.
Where will the refund be returned
Another common question is how customers will be credited to their account after receiving a refund. Will these refunds be credited to the debit or credit account they used to pay for the order? Will they receive a gift card? Can they receive cash?
To ensure a good customer experience, you need to be very clear about which options are available. For example, Nordstrom states that all refunds will be credited to the customer\’s original form of payment or Nordstrom Gift Card.
This brings us to an important point.
Exchanges and other forms of exchange
In some cases, customers want to get their money back and that\’s it.
However, many people will be interested in exchanging items or earning store points, as Nordstrom offers with gift cards. In fact, 28% of consumers prefer to replace returns with exchanges, while 35% of consumers tend to get instant credit.
So you need to mention the replacement policy and whether this is what you provide. This is what women\’s clothing brand GitiOnline thought of from the beginning.
They also made it clear that a small percentage of items purchased through deep discounts cannot be returned. There may be friction with customers if no similar exceptions are mentioned, so keep this in mind when incorporating this information into your refund policy.
Return processing time
The time required to process a return is also an essential element, as processing time can seriously affect the entire customer experience. More specifically, slow returns processing makes customers more reluctant to introduce your brand to others or buy from you again.
The survey found:
77% of consumers are unlikely to recommend a brand that takes a long time to issue a refund;
● 40% of consumers will no longer repurchase from the brand;
● 40% of consumers will limit purchases from the brand.
So, not only should you specifically mention the return processing time, as Milani does, you should also do your best to speed up the process.
If you want to know how long consumers are willing to wait on average, here are some data we found:
72% of consumers are willing to wait 5 days;
● 24% of consumers are willing to wait for 10 days;
● 3% of consumers are willing to wait for 20 days;
● 1% of consumers can wait more than 20 days.
So it is best not to exceed 5 days. If the processing time does not exceed 10 days, you may be in a relatively good condition. However, if it is more than 20 days, you are likely to encounter problems.
How to get a return label
Finally, you need to let customers know where they can find the return label. Don\’t let them spend a lot of time looking for return labels and printing them. So do your best to make things easy.
Standout provides a very easy to find link on their returns page.
All the customer has to do is click on the link, and the page will guide them through a simple three-step process so the customer can print the return label at home.
3 strategies to improve the customer experience
The details of what should be included in a return policy have been described above. Let ’s quickly highlight some key strategies that will make it as easy as possible for customers to complete the return process.
Easy to understand
A big cause of friction during the return process is overly professional legal terminology. So be sure to use simple and understandable language.
Focus on simplicity
Customers do not want the process of finding important information about the refund policy to be too complicated. Therefore, the simpler the return process, the better for both parties.
Ross Simmonds, the founder of Foundation Marketing, said: \”Ask yourself if you have a serious problem with a product, or have a valid reason to change it, are you willing or willing to go through the refund process yourself? If the answer is no, then It\’s time to rethink your approach and create a better customer experience. \”
This is a great way to evaluate your return process and find out if it needs any adjustments.
Make it easy for customers to find the refund page
Finally, customers should have no difficulty finding the return page.
A quick search or an obvious link is recommended to direct customers to the return page. For most brands, this means placing a link to the refund policy page in the footer.
As a Shopify seller, return products may not be your favorite thing, but handling returns is part of any product-based business. This is especially common for e-commerce companies.
After all, nearly one-third of products ordered online are returned, and the return rate in physical stores is less than 9%. That\’s why making a refund policy is something to consider fully, rather than simply piece together. So, even if quite a few of them want a refund, you should be able to cultivate a sense of loyalty and increase repeat customers. In addition, this can give you an advantage over the main competitors in the Shopify dropshipping business.
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