No matter how great your wares, customers will sometimes send back what they buy from you, especially when it comes to purchases that have to fit physiques and personal tastes, like clothes and shoes.
I work with a lot of small e-commerce businesses, and I’m always impressed with the big strides these little operations make in a short time. It’s tough because they are juggling a lot of balls, so whenever I can offer some advice based on my experience as a fulfillment professional, I like to share it.
Before you ship off your first package to your first customer, create a return policy and make sure all of your employees — especially those who field customer calls — understand it.
If you are dragging your feet, here’s a very motivating statistic from the National Retail Federation: 64 percent — that’s well over half — of consumers said they were very hesitant to ever shop with a company that made returning merchandise a hassle.
When you make your return policy clear, fair and easy, your customers will feel they’ve been treated well and will want to do business with you again. Easy returns = happy customers.
Here are several things to consider as you create your return policy and process:
How long will customers have to return an item? Create a window: 30 days, 60 days or 90 days are common. But be sure to put a limit on it. Don’t leave the time period open-ended.
–Post it on your website in a prominent place. Make sure it is also included in any printed materials, like catalogs.
–Go over the policy with all of your employees so they can answer questions they may receive from customers.
Check out this article for steps you can take to reduce return frequency.
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