According to the study, around 30% of all of the purchased products are eventually returned to the sellers. This is considered an unfortunate scenario on the entrepreneurs’ part, but since this is part of eCommerce life, this has to be applied. Though returns are not always bad news for the e-commerce world, with the right shipping and return policy template, you can surely secure customer loyalty and trust, and at the same time, you can attract more customers to your site and minimize your negative reviews.
You can read more to discover the advantages of the well-crafted shipping and return policy template and what are the things you have to include in your template. Some examples are from the top online retailers worldwide are added to serve as a guide and show how it is done.
The Importance of Shipping and Return Policy
Primarily, the reason why most of the retailers shy away from showing a clear return policy at first is that no one wants to lose a sale. But, an appropriately crafted return policy can offer a massive benefit for many online sellers.
First on the list is that they motivate online shopping. According to studies, the ability to make free returns and exchange ranks second as the top driver of online shopping after free return shipping. The free product returns or exchanges are a significant draw for most shoppers looking for items online.
Furthermore, this is the reason why most online shoppers expect flexible shipping and return policy right before they make a purchase. Half of these shoppers avoid sites that do not offer free shipping and return.
It can also be a major selling point for your brand if you have reasonable shipping and return policy. This is why most sites use returns as part of the core brand messaging to attract more shoppers. The majority of the shoppers say that they have a good return experience and want to shop with the retailer again because of the excellent return policy. This only proves that reasonable shipping and return policy can boost customer loyalty and is a perfect addition to online business. According to studies, this also has a part in increasing the total revenue.
What to include in your shipping return policy template
A well-written and clear shipping and returns policy can help a business big time. The following are essential things you need to add to your template:
1. Include types of returns or exchanges you offer to shoppers
The first thing you need to do is determine if your return policy offers a full refund, partial refund, store credit, or exchanges. But you can also have the option to mix all the return options. Some choose to list a few of the items as part of the “final sale.”
You can also outline the options available for each product on your refund page. For example, Amazon’s return policy included a lengthy outline of the return policy and the specific conditions for all of their products’ categories and indicated that they have a dedicated return policy for those “Fulfilled by Amazon” products. The benefit of using this is that shoppers can be able to use the customer service network of Amazon, which includes the product shipping and returns options.
Here is a sample of these options included by Amazon on their shipping and return policy:
“Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can help you reach more customers and win their loyalty with superior customer service. Our fulfillment services let you focus on sales while Amazon stores, picks, packs, and ships your products. Sign up for FBA today and get ready to grow.”
2. State the condition required for all returned products
The second consideration is to tell the shoppers what should be the state of their returned item to qualify for a refund or exchange. This includes indicating that the product must be sealed or unused before returning. Other than that, you also have to state if any tags or protective packaging must be intact during the return.
Here is an example of the shipping and return policy template from the company Marks and Spencer:
“Returns: You can refund or exchange products bought online or in-store with a valid receipt or parcel summary document within 35 days, excluding sale items. For sale items, you have 14 days. It’s free and easy to return items to us.
Free in-store returns: Simply take the item, along with your receipt, or parcel summary, to the returns desk in your local store. Store staff will be able to help.
Return in the post: Please post any unwanted items, including the return slips from the parcel summary document, at your own cost to the address provided.”
3. Indicate the period of return and exchange
Most shoppers expect a 30-day return policy, which is one of the most common time period given by sellers as it gives the buyers enough time to decide if they want to return the product or not.
It is best that you emphasized in your shipping and return policy when the 30 days will start and end. Does the count begin once the item arrives or once the order is being shipped to the customer’s address? If the package is being postmarked within 30 days, will that be enough, or is it required that the item arrive within 30 days?
In the shipping and return policy of the company eBay, it includes a “ship by” date informing the shoppers of their last day for them to ship the item so that they can meet the deadline of the return as indicated in the policy. Here is the sample template made by eBay for the shipping and return policy:
“To send an item back to the seller, you need to start a return —>
When the seller accepts your return requests, you’ll either receive a return shipping label from eBay or the seller or be asked to purchase a brand directly from the carrier. You’ll also receive a date by which you should ship the item back. You can find this date in the details of your return request that will be sent to your eBay Messages with the subject “Send the item back.” If you do not ship the return by that date, we may close the request, and you will not receive a refund. You must use a tracked service with signature confirmation to return an item worth $750 or more.”
Additional tips for Writing Great Shipping and Return Policy
1. Use of video
Regardless of the time the consumers shop online, shoppers get a little anxious about the difficulty of having to deal with returning a product. This is evident among fashion items where sizes, colors, and even the overall design might vary from what the buyer is expecting. To minimize your buyer’s anxiety, record a video that is easy for customers to digest, giving them the option to watch it instead of reading the whole shipping and return policy or contact you in your support line.
2. Memorable Name for Your Return Policy
Though it is just small, try to give your return policy a catchy name that makes it easy to stand out from the rest and makes it easy for the shopper to search online. An example of that is what Vouri calls the return policy Investment in Happiness. This is an excellent way to highlight the intention to make their customers happy, no matter the reason for returning the item.