A tedious, red tape-covered returns process can scare off potential new customers, and turn into a nightmare for customers who have a return issue. Streamlining returns will do wonders for your reputation and build customer trust. If you can turn your returns process into something hassle-free for customers – you can use that as a selling point to increase your sales. Simplified returns show customers that you stand behind your products and that you’re willing to fix any issues that cause returns.
Return policies come in all shapes and sizes, but when developing yours, there’s one key tenant to keep in mind: don’t penalize the customer who needs to return something. Most users check the return policy before committing to an ecommerce purchase – if it looks like they could be “punished” for a shopping decision (on an item that they physically can’t see or feel, remember) with the hassle of your returns policy, there’s a greater chance they won’t become customers.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to make your returns process as hassle-free as possible. Of course, the better your returns process, the more expensive it is to maintain. You can circumvent this by making sure your ecommerce site has features that lessen the likelihood of returns, like detailed product descriptions, hi-res images (with a model or common object for scale), product videos, and customer reviews. All of these give customers the details they need to be confident with their purchases – reducing the chance they’ll need to return it. On top of that, once you assure a customer that your returns process is easy, then you eliminate hesitation from the next purchase – and returning customers are the lifeblood of ecommerce.