How much thought have you put into your return policy page? If the answer is little to none...we need to talk. Your return policy page is one of the most important pages on your website, and we’ll explain why in this post.
Why you need to prioritize your return policy page
67% of shoppers check a return policy before making a purchase. Let that really sink in. What this ultimately means is that your return policy is one of the most frequently visited pages on your website.
It also means that your return policy page plays a significant role in whether or not a shopper decides to engage with your brand.
If you present a clunky, poorly thought-out return policy, people aren’t going to stick around long enough to make their first purchase. But write an awesome, customer-centric policy (don’t worry, we’ll explain how in the next section), and you’re going to see a positive impact on your bottom line.
A top-notch return policy page comes with other benefits too, such as:
Higher conversions. A customer-centric and straightforward return policy reduces the perceived risk of buying something from your brand. This makes it more likely that a potential customer will become a first-time buyer.
Fewer return-related support requests. By proactively addressing FAQs in your return policy, you’ll free up time for your support team since they won’t have to answer basic questions like “how do I exchange an item?” Or “when will I receive my refund?”
Happier customers. People want to know exactly what to expect when starting a relationship with your brand. Having their concerns, questions, and what if’s clearly addressed in your return policy will lead to a more seamless experience and happier customers.
Best practices for your return policy page
Make it impossible to miss your page.
We see many brands make the mistake of unintentionally burying their return policy page. This is a huge wasted opportunity because, as we know from the previous section, your customers want to see your return policy before they make a purchase.
One of the most common mistakes we see is having the return link in the footer lead straight into your return process.
Why is this a problem? As I stated before, 67% of people want to see your policy before even making a purchase. Many people are wanting to see this page to evaluate, not to jump straight into a return. But if you lead them directly to your return portal, they’ll have to go back and search for your return policy on the website. This creates a frustrating, clunky experience for your customers.
Another common mistake we see is nesting a return policy deep into the FAQs page. By doing this, you’re forcing your customers to go on an expedition to find basic return information. Your return policy needs to live on its own page and be easy for customers to access.
A final tip: consider making the return policy page easier to find my linking to it through your website banners, product pages, social media advertisements, and email marketing like Allbirds does below. That way you can leverage it as a marketing asset.
Avoid the wall of text.
Your return policy is where your customer goes for answers - not to be more confused than when they started. Unfortunately, some brands think that creating a dense, clunky policy will deter customers from making returns in the first place.
But put yourself in the customer’s shoes: if you saw a return policy that was a wall of text (like the one below), would you just shrug and say “their page is confusing, but I still trust that this brand has my best interests in mind” and go through with the purchase? Probably not.
So instead of greeting your customers with a novel-length return policy, keep it simple. Give them the CliffNotes version of your return policy and let them start the return process when they’re ready.
Address these five key questions
But how do you know what to include on your return policy page when there’s an overwhelming amount of information to cover? Focus on what your customers want to know.
We recently surveyed over 300 consumers to learn exactly what they want from their returns experience. Based on these results, here are the five questions that your customers want to see addressed in your return policy:
1. What will it cost me? 44.5% of customers want to know how much return shipping is going to cost. Not only that, but 74% of survey respondents also said they would be hesitant to shop from a brand that charges them for return shipping. You can learn more about the benefits of free return shipping here.
2. How long do I have? 29.7% of consumers want to know the length of your return window before making a purchase. A general rule of thumb: the longer the return window, the better. If you need specific guidance on how to set your return window, check out this post to learn more about Loop’s approach.
3. Is there anything I can’t return? Customers want to know whether the item they’re interested in purchasing will be eligible for returns. This is so important to consumers that 39% of survey respondents said a policy that’s too strict on what can’t be returned is likely to deter them from making a purchase in the first place.
4. Where do I start? 3.9% of customers want to understand how to start the return process, which some return policies don’t make very clear. The easiest way to communicate this is by having a clear and strong CTA baked into your page.
5. How long will it take? We threw in this question for good measure. When a customer sends off their return items, they may feel anxious about the status of their package. Did the item make it back to the warehouse? When will they see their money back in their account? Understanding the timeline for processing returns will mitigate these concerns.
If you’re looking for tangible examples of awesome return policies, you may want to check out this blog post. We shine the spotlight on five brands that we believe have some of the best return policies in ecommerce.
Your returns policy page is your third most valuable page, after the homepage and the product page - don’t waste this opportunity to make it amazing. Need more support to create an awesome returns policy page for your brand? We’d love to help. Just get in touch with our team.