How to Write an Effective Return Policy for eCommerce?

Updated on November 3, 2022 in Ecommerce by

How to Write an Effective Return Policy for eCommerce?

Can you think of any eCommerce that has not registered a return from their customers? As online store starts growing, more people start buying their products.

But did you know that almost 30% of online products are returned?

The reason could be anything here, but the main focus here should be ~ how do you deal with your eCommerce return?

How to write an effective return policy for eCommerce that ensures:

  • Better customer experience
  • Trust among customers
  • Lower losses for the eCommerce
  • Positively affect eCommerce sales

In this guide, you’ll be learning just that. So, let’s get started with the article without taking any more of your time.

Why eCommerce Return policy is important?

Creating an eCommerce return policy might not be on the top of your to-do list. I get it. But it doesn’t mean that it is not important.

A good eCommerce return policy positively impacts sales and helps build customer trust.

Here are some of the most important reasons why the eCommerce return policy is important:

  • Reduces risk: Simple question. Return or consumer court? This might sound a little too much, but it better be safe, right? Having a good return policy for eCommerce reduces the future risk of conflicts with the customer. They know what you promise, and they know what to expect.
  • Sets clear expectations: As we were discussing. Your customers know exactly what your product will look like. If you say it will take between 12-15 days, they know it will. But if they have no ideas, anxiousness might just hit the roof.
  • Gives a timeline: A timeline for everything. From how long they can return back the product to when they will receive new. If something urgent is coming up, they can plan it accordingly.
  • Builds trust: Knowing that the customer cycle doesn’t end once the product is received instantly builds trust. Your customer trusts you, and if something is wrong with the product, they can reach back to you, and you’ll help them.
  • Required by the law: If non of the above point convince you, just FYI, having a return policy is mandatory by the law. Not every country directly states them (most do) as they are considered no different than regular consumer rights.

How to write an effective return policy for eCommerce?

Share the terms of return.

Share the terms of return - effective return policy for eCommerce

In simpler words, when will the return be acceptable? The conditions will determine if the product they bought fulfills the criteria for the return.

This is the first stage that you must add start with.

Some common examples of these terms are:

  • If the size doesn’t fit you, a return is acceptable.
  • A return is acceptable if the product’s color doesn’t match the product image.
  • If you receive a wrong or damaged product, the return is acceptable.
  • One can only get store credits to buy another product for their return.

In another scenario:

  • If a consumer damages the product, the return will not be acceptable.
  • Once the product is returned, the return policy will not apply to the new product.
  • Discount coupons can’t be used when returning the product for another one.

Your eCommerce return policy will very much depend on your product type and its durability and demand. Here, you have to pick out the genuine problems that customers might face and help them with the return.

At the same time, you also have to look at the misused return policy scenario and balance the terms accordingly.

Be clear with the timeline of return.

Be clear with the timeline of return - effective return policy for eCommerce

Timeline refers to how long a customer can request a product return. You might have often read – “30 days return policy – no question asked!”

Here, 30 days is the most crucial part of the policy. Your customer’s time period should align with how long it will take to be truly satisfied.

An important point to remember here is that the longer your return timeline is, the higher your brand stands in the customer trust index.

A 90-day return policy builds more trust than a 7-day return policy.

Be very mindful of the timeline to find the right spot. The simplest way to learn the right timeline will be to test how long it takes for a customer to appreciate the product’s value.

For products like metrics, it is longer, about 90 or 100 days. But on the other hand, a timeline for daily clothing is about 5 or 7 days. 

Keep it easy to understand

Keep it easy to understand - effective return policy for eCommerce

Writing an eCommerce return policy doesn’t mean you have to lawyer up your writing style. You want people to engage with the policy for better communication.

It seems fishy if a customer cannot understand what you are trying to say. Something that only fraudulent eCommerce would want.

So, make sure you are writing to build trust and not hide the details. If your eCommerce does allow a return, it is a point to flaunt.

From the benefits, we know how important eCommerce return policies are. So, write to make it readable.

Use bullets & FAQs

Use bullets & FAQs - effective return policy for eCommerce

While writing an eCommerce return policy, you must add in the writing formats like FAQs, bullets, tables, images, headings, etc.

Just like every other piece of content on your site, ensure you insert proper sections on this page.

They help in going through the points much more easily and quickly. This way, the customer saves time and focuses on buying products rather than looking at the documentation.

Discuss the conflicts

Discuss the conflicts - effective return policy for eCommerce

There are always “if’s” and “buts‘ when creating a policy.

  • “What if the product order was delivered right, but I want a smaller size?”
  • “But I was out of the station and didn’t get time to look at the product within the timeline of the return policy.”
  • “What if I don’t want to buy another product in return?”

Your eCommerce return policy must discuss such conflicts very clearly. Not only for the new customers but also for those who want to return their product for some reason but are confused if it will approve.

Sharing them beforehand allows you to clear any doubts and answers without confusion (and waste of resources).

End with contact info

End with contact info - effective return policy for eCommerce

Even after being thorough with your eCommerce return policy, you want your customers to be able to reach you. That is a sign of a trustworthy eCommerce.

So, while you end up writing your return policies for eCommerce, make sure you give your customers a way to contact you.

The best ways could be your customer care service or email id. This is to ensure that your customers know that in case they hit a roadblock, they can contact you easily.

If you are using an AI chatbot, you can even train it for a return page for quick and easy communication.

Share the success stories

Share the success stories - effective return policy for eCommerce

Who doesn’t like the success stories of happy customers? Your return page is probably a place on your site where customers are most conscious about the purchase.

Sharing how your customers trust you reflects in the trust of new customers.

So, add testimonials and user-generated content to make your eCommerce return page more engaging.

Bonus Read

To write an effective eCommerce return policy, you must understand the relationship between your product and the customer.

Returns are a good part of your customer journey, and you must make sure they have the best experience with that as well.

In the end, that is what matters the most.

How to reduce your eCommerce return? By making sure your product images look the same as the real product. The most common reason for higher product returns is the accurate color of the eCommerce product image.

PixelPhant is a leading eCommerce product photo editing service that is already working with fast-growing brands across the globe. We are on a mission to make your customer’s experience better with high-quality product photo editing services.

Take a free trial now.

Beautiful product images across your website.

Background Removal, Clipping Path, Color Correction, Cropping & Resize, Retouching, adding Shadows, and more.

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