Rob Green reports:
"Return policies are extremely important when selling online. If you’re just starting out then they’ll help you generate trust with shoppers more easily, because they’ll know they can return anything easily if they need to...Most online stores have a return policy that expires after 30 or 60 days, but what if your return policy lasted for 90 days, 120 days, 365 days or even for a lifetime? Buying online is all about risk for most people...Extending your return policy for as long as you can will make more than it will cost you, because the overwhelming majority of your customers will not act on your return policy – they just want to know it’s there for peace of mind before they place their order...If you’ll only accept return to a certain address or when the box is marked with particular details, then make that clear. Provide examples to help your customers out should they ever need to return something to you. Ideally, however, your return policy will have few (if any) conditions attached to it...If customers do return an item and there’s really no other way around it then be cheerful and friendly about it. Process the return immediately and ask for a testimonial about their experience. Take their testimonial (and [name and photo] if you can) and add it to your return policy page. When shoppers see the testimonials they’ll be even more likely to...buy from you...Depending on what you sell, a lot of return can be because the customer simply chose the wrong model number or product size. Because of this you should include two options in your return policy: a) a cash refund or b) the issue of store credit. If the customer wants a cash refund[,] then of course you should give it to them, but a surprising number of customers will be just fine with a store credit...This might sound obvious, but you should always ask the customer why they’re returning an item they bought from you. Keep a list of reasons and if you spot any trends[,] then try to stop the problem in its tracks...Most of your competitors won’t even publish a return policy, but if you’ve listened to the tips above [and sell] good quality products[,] then you should promote your return policy everywhere you can: on your home page, on your shopping cart and checkout pages[,] and even in your newsletters and promotions. Remember, winning your shopper’s trust can send your conversion rate through the roof...Remember to be generous, use clear and simple wording, [use] lots of bullet points and include instructions not just for how to return an item, but for anything else your customers might need before, during and after the return process is complete."
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