Holidays + Smart Returns = Happy Customers

Posted by Karen Hupe on November 6, 2015

The 2015 holiday shopping season promises to be a big one with Adobe’s Digital Index predicting online sales pushing to a record $83 Billion. That’s an increase of more than 11 percent over 2014 holiday sales.

Record ecommerce sales could bring the potential for more product returns. More multichannel retailers are making it possible for items bought online to be returned in store which can boost customer satisfaction.

What can pure-play ecommerce retailers do to keep customers with returns happy? We’ve got a few recommendations.

Make it clear

You should have a clear, easy-to-understand returns policy on your ecommerce website that tells your customers where, when, and how to return their items.

Key points to include:

  • Timeframe to make the returns
  • Products that qualify
  • Product condition

Don’t forget to make your returns policy easy to find. Give returns and exchange information its own page on your etail site and make it part of the secondary menu structure.

Make it easy

Give your customers the tools they need to get the item back to you.

Start by putting how-to instructions in the package or include them on the packing slip. Consider return labels and/or packaging upfront. This can be done by either including them in the original order or emailing a printable pdf copy when shipment tracking info is sent out.

Then there’s free. Nothing makes returns easier on the customer than free shipping.

Make it quick

According to Stella Services 2014 Holiday Insight Study, more consumers experience a refund of seven days or less, but most companies process that refund in just less than 10 days.

When it comes to refunds associated with returns, it’s important that you set the right expectations with your customers. Seven days may be a realistic expectation for some businesses, but may be not for your ecommerce business. If it’s not, be sure to include estimated refund timelines in your returns policy.

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