A returns or refunds policy is a legal requirement for eCommerce stores and for brick and mortar shops. Even if you do not offer returns or refunds, this must be clearly and distinctly stipulated within your returns & refunds policy.
You may choose to offer a returns & exchanges policy, that specifically indicates that you do not offer refunds, but are willing to credit or exchange the returned product.
If this option also does not apply to your product offerings, your return and refunds policy should explicitly state that your eCommerce store does not offer returns and refunds on purchased items.
According to a recent study, more than 60% of customers will review the returns and refunds policy, before they make a purchase from an online store.
Cart abandonment is a common challenge faced by digital retailers, therefore it is important for Online Store owners to do as much as they can do, to retain customers throughout the purchasing process.
When creating your returns & refunds / returns and exchanges policy, bear in mind, that your terms have the potential to make or break a sale, so be aware of what you need to cover by law, and also what needs to be considered for ultimate customer satisfaction.
A returns policy is legal statement that provides customers information about what they need to do if they would like to bring a product that they purchased back to you and exchange it for either:
- Replacement Product
- Store Credit
As the Online Store owner you get to decide what terms and clauses you wish to include in your eCommerce Returns & Refunds policy.
Customers will have a variety of reasons that they wish to return a product, from our experience, the 6 primary reasons (in order of priority) a customer will return a product they have bought online are:
- The customer has ordered the incorrect product or size.
- The customer changed their mind/decided they longer wanted or required the product.
- The product didn’t match the marketing description in the catalog or the website.
- The product did not meet the customers’ expectations
- The company shipped the wrong product or size
- The customer refused to give a reason for returning the product
The returns and refunds policy that you create for your online store should clearly set out how you will deal with any and all of the above scenarios in which a product that has been purchased from your online store and the customer would like to return it.
How will the logistics work? Who will bear the cost of the collection/delivery? Your refund and return policy entails clauses to protect your online store and your customer.
You must include what course of action a customer needs to get a refund, replace the product they have returned or how they can request a repair for a faulty product.
Here are the main criteria that your the returns and refunds policy for your online store should establish:
- Which items may be returned and which cannot, for example a paid hotel booking cannot be returned, but cannot be refunded, whereas, a lingerie company may offer no refunds or returns due to the nature of their products.
- Return policy time limits and warranty periods on items being returned.
- Whether or not refunds are available, and how – cash, credit, replacement items?
- Who will pay for the collection / delivery of both the returned product and the replacement product?