A customer-focused return policy requires many components. It should clearly outline how to initiate a return, set expectations around the process, and encourage exchanges over refunds.
But once you finally capture all that information on paper, how do you translate it into a well-structured returns page? One that provides value to your customers instead of frustrating them?
The answer lies in the four “I’s” framework. These are the elements of a top-notch returns page:
Informative: Does it contain key information without overwhelming the customer?
Intuitive: Is it clear what a customer needs to do to initiate a refund or exchange?
Inclusive: Does the page account for all possible return scenarios?
Instant: Can the customer quickly take action and initiate a return?
Through this article we will show you a few example pages that have applied this framework beautifully. But first, let's explore a not so great example.
The value of a clear returns page
Customer acquisition is hard… and expensive. You need conversion to be high, and retention even higher still. A clear returns page helps with both, because 67% of shoppers are checking your returns page to determine if they are going to make a purchase.
All those customers you worked to acquire are now looking at a page like the one below before deciding whether to continue forward with the purchase.
Not only is the policy confusing, but the page itself doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Faced with a returns page like this, there’s a good chance your customer will abandon their shopping cart and never look back.
On the other hand, a well-designed ecommerce returns page can provide the affirmation a customer needs to seal the deal. All it takes is an understanding of the elements that make up a top-notch page.
Well structured ecommerce return page examples
Now let's show you a few examples of great ecommerce brands that follow the four “I’s” framework with their returns pages.
Allbirds has a fantastic returns page that’s informative. It highlights the most important details - such as the gist of their policy and which items don’t qualify for returns - but doesn’t overwhelm the customer with a wall of text.
A few tips on how to design an informative page:
Avoid the dreaded ‘wall of text.’ Nothing will cause a customer to shut down faster than a large block of text. While it’s not wrong to have your full policy laid out somewhere, the returns page should be kept simple. Notice how Allbirds captures all the key points in seven short sentences. Challenge yourself to do the same and boil down the important aspects of your policy into a brief paragraph or a few bullets.
Gear language to a customer, not a lawyer. Your customer shouldn’t need a legal background to interpret your returns page. Keep your language clear and simple. And don’t be afraid to adopt a fun, engaging tone (if it aligns with your brand) to make the information easier to digest - just as Allbirds does on its page.
Brooklinen has a great example of an intuitive returns page. Looking at this page, it’s self-evident what a customer needs to do to initiate any type of return. No explanation or guide required.
A few tips on how to design an intuitive page:
Use icons. Utilizing icons, like the ones on the Brooklinen page, is a powerful way to grab the customer’s attention. These icons visually organize your page and show people exactly where they need to go. This creates a much more pleasant experience than having a customer wade through a page of FAQs to uncover the information they need.
Have clear CTAs. A clear CTA - whether it’s in the form of a button or highlighted text - steers customers in the direction they need to go to resolve their issue. Without these clear signals, your customers may get confused about how to initiate a return. This can lead them to reach out to your support team and use up their valuable time for a process that could have been automated.
Mizzen + Main
Mizzen + Main showcases a returns page that’s inclusive. As you can see, the page clearly lays out all the possible options for customers: one where they return or exchange the item online, and one where they return your item in person.
A few tips on how to design an inclusive page:
Consider all scenarios. Depending on your business, there will be different paths your customer can take for returns. For instance: domestic versus international returns; exchanges versus refunds; online versus in-person. Every potential scenario should be represented on your returns page. Otherwise, you risk leaving your customers with unanswered questions and no way forward.
Keep everything on one page. Don’t send your customers on a wild goose chase to hunt down the information they need. In other words, don’t have information about online returns in a separate place from information about in-person returns. House everything on a single page to make everything as accessible and discoverable as possible.
The Chubbies returns page allows customers to take instantaction on their returns. As we highlighted in the example above, a customer can initiate a return simply by clicking on the hyperlinked text. This takes them to the start of the returns and exchanges process.
A few tips on how to design a page that lets customers take action instantly
Provide a one-click option. Instead of forcing customers to manually reach out to the support team, allow them to initiate the returns process with one click. This significantly reduces friction for the shopper and frees up more of your support team’s time.
Integrate with Loop. One of the benefits of using Loop is that it allows customers to quickly and seamlessly move from your return page and into the return process. Everything, from initiating the process to approving returns, is done automatically.
While it’s important to have a killer return policy, it’s just as critical to build a page that conveys the content as clearly as possible. By following the four “I’s” framework, you’ll be able to design a page that highlights the best aspects of your policy and inspires confidence to buy in your customers.
Want to optimize your policy and returns page? We would love to show you how. Just get in touch with our team.