Buying stuff online is convenient and can save you money, but at times, items will need to be returned. There can be many reasons that a return needs to be made, and it’s not necessarily the fault of the business, but at the same time, businesses do need to accept that returns are part of the process when they sell online.
Here are some of the reasons why a generous returns policy is needed for online businesses, and how you can create one for your store.
Work out how to handle returns
In most areas, you’ll be legally obliged to accept returns within a certain window of time, especially if the item is faulty. Therefore, you need to look into reverse logistics as soon as you set up your store, so you have a system for getting the parcels back to you and restocking the items into your warehouse.
Most retailers offer a collection service for returns, with couriers collecting the parcels then sending them to a distribution centre. However, you may prefer to include return labels in your packages so people can go straight to the post office and send them straight back to you. Look at the costs of both options before you decide.
Most retailers offer hassle-free returns
Companies who have easy returns are likely to get ahead of the competition. Many of the biggest online clothing retailers, for example, got into the position they are in because of the excellent customer service that they offer. In many cases, their return policy can attract customers, as people know if something goes wrong, it’s fine because they can easily send stuff back.
If you quibble over returns or they are slow, you may well find you end up with some bad reviews. This can harm your reputation and mean people are reluctant to place orders in future, so think about your bottom line. While returns can cost you money, lost business can be worse.
Items are not always as expected
There are many ways you can ensure the best possible information is given to customers:
- Accurate product descriptions
- Good photos with different angles
- 360-degree photos
- Product videos
- Product dimensions
However, despite your best efforts, when an item shows up, it doesn’t always match what people expect. This is why returns are so important and will always be necessary when it comes to online shopping.
Extended returns are common at busy times
Some retailers also offer extended returns during times such as Christmas, when people will be giving more gifts. This means people can buy with confidence, knowing that if the gift isn’t right, it can still be returned. While the returns may cost you money, the good news is, this kind of policy can also help you get more sales.
Returns can be a hassle for business, but if you’re selling online they are inevitable. It’s important to work on your returns policy and also the logistical side, which ensures that things run as smoothly as possible and that you can resell the items quickly.