Return policies are typically viewed by customers as a blocker to their shopping experience. Many policies suffer from being overly complex, challenging to read, and unclear about tangible next steps for customers who want to return an item.
But there’s good news: it doesn’t have to be that way. As a brand, there are ways you can make your return process enjoyable for customers and use it as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with them.
How To Build a Customer-Friendly Returns Policy
1. Use Simple Language
Does your customer need a legal background to understand your return policy? The answer to this question should be a definitive no. Instead, use clear language and an easy-to-follow format to minimize confusion for customers. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if it’s something that your friend, neighbor, or relative can’t easily read and understand, then your return policy is too complicated.
If you don’t follow this recommendation, you risk having people decide not to shop with you. After all, 67% of shoppers are checking your returns page to determine if they’re going to make a purchase. A confusing return policy could be the reason a shopper doesn’t convert to a customer.
2. Provide Enough Information Upfront
Try to strike a balance between providing enough information to customers without making them feel overwhelmed.
Your policy page should include details like:
- Return window length
- How long an exchange or refund will take
- What isn’t eligible to be returned
- How to get started with a return
A policy page shouldn’t go into sizing or legalities - this is information that can live on separate pages, if needed. Not only does addressing frequently asked questions upfront on your policy page create a better experience for your customers, but it also saves your support team valuable time.
3. Remove Obstacles for Exchanges and Store Credit
Almost half of online returns are for sizing related reasons. When customers request an exchange or store credit, it signals that they want to continue the relationship with your brand; they just have the wrong product in their hands right now. Don’t dampen the relationship by making it challenging for them to receive their exchange.
To remove friction: don’t charge for return shipping, extend your return windows, and make the process as simple as possible. Otherwise, you risk leaving customers with a bad taste about your return experience or - worse - having them ask for a refund instead of an exchange or store credit.
4. Create a Seamless Experience
You can have the best return policy in the world, but if the customer can’t figure out how to take the next step, then it doesn’t provide much value. That’s why it’s critical to make the step from reading your return policy to actually initiating the return process completely seamless.
At Loop, we build on-demand return portals to help brands with this transition. Customers can get to this portal from the return page with one click. This immediately starts the return process, which allows them to select the type of return they want to do and generates a return label on the spot.
5. Focus on The 95%
Many brands are tempted to build a return policy that minimizes risk of return fraud. But the truth is that this phenomenon isn’t as common as you might think. In fact, a study found that only 5% of all returns are fraudulent. This is a tiny fraction of your returns. But if you build a return policy for that minority, you’ll inevitably end up with a highly rigid policy that will make you lose customers in the long run. Instead of worrying about the 5%, focus on providing the majority of your customers with the best return policy possible.
Put all these pieces together, and you’ll have a return experience that customers won’t dread - but actually enjoy. This can open up additional opportunities for relationship building, which will ultimately lead to increased revenue for your brand. More importantly, you’ll have happier customers who will return to your store time and time again.
At Arka, we prioritize customer experience and offer top-notch packaging options. Our custom shipper boxes or custom mailer boxes ensure amazing unboxing experience. Contact us in order to design your unique custom box today!