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Hardik Patel

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Monday, June 23, 2014

4 Things Shoppers Want in an Online Retailer's Return Policy


Imagine a customer is shopping online for a new pair of sneakers and stumbles upon what seems to be the perfect pair. After skimming the reviews, he notices comments that the shoes tend to run a little small. That’s when he checks the store’s return policy, which he finds complicated and ambiguous. It could have been written in a different language.
Would he still click that 'purchase' button? Probably not.
And he would not be the only one to abandon the shopping cart because of a cumbersome returns process. My company, Endicia, recently surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and found that the majority of folks who have never purchased an item online cite “returns” as the reason for cold feet. 
It’s critical to identify what a good return policy offers. Here are the top four things online shoppers want when it comes to returns: 
1. Clarity. A positive returns experience starts with clear communication. It’s the only way customers will know what to expect. 
Online retailers should make their return policies simple to understand and easy to find on their websites. A good policy outlines what can be returned, whether customers will be granted a full refund or store credit, how long they have to make a return and if return shipping is free. Taking the time to clearly spell out these details will show customers that the business is one they can trust.
2. Convenience. There’s a reason why people gravitate toward online shopping: It’s convenient. They don’t have to deal with crowded malls or long lines. In fact, they can get anything their hearts desire without ever leaving home. The same concept should apply to a returns process. 
If it makes sense for the business model, consider simplifying things for customers by including a return label with the purchase. If it would work out better for customers to contact the company for a return, be sure to include the appropriate phone number and instructions on the packing slip. Ensure that there's a way to send shoppers a PDF of the return label, so they can quickly and simply print the label at home...