A good return policy can be the deciding factor in whether or not a customer makes a purchase. More than just a matter of convenience, businesses that assuredly offer easy returns and exchanges are showing customers that they have a strong confidence in their product. Online shoppers have a surplus of online marketplaces to choose from for any item or service they buy; the type of satisfaction guarantee that a solid return policy offers can be the security blanket needed to take the final plunge on your site over a competitor.
63% of today’s consumers cite checking a return policy before making a purchase, and 70% say that a clear return policy is what makes a satisfying shopping experience. So, how can you be sure that you fall into the category that’s meeting shoppers’ satisfaction? Keep it simple. Make sure your return policy is easy to find, easy to understand, and if necessary, easy to execute.
And don’t forget the magic word: FREE. Free returns are becoming increasingly important to today’s customer, and successful retailers are responding accordingly. According to a study by the National Retail Federation, 49% of retailers now offer free return shipping.
Erik Lautier, SVP Direct-to-consumer & Marketing at francesca’s, has more than 15 years of experience in retail and knows that a satisfactory return policy is key to a good customer experience. That’s why we’ve trusted him to award the gold medal in this CX Olympic event.
And now, the winners...
The only question here is “does it count as a return if you never actually bought it?” JT’s innovative “Tryouts” model brings the fitting room to your living room at no charge, taking a page from some popular subscription models out there. Not only are they not going to charge you for the return, they’re not going to charge you at all. Compelling.
If it’s possible to feel a good, old-fashioned handshake online, this is the site you’ll feel it on. The brand’s history and commitment to quality come through nicely in their handling of returns, making you feel that they’ll bend pretty much any policy to do right by the customer.
One of the innovators in online return policies, Zappos’ model is streamlined and simple, largely due to homogeneity of merchandise categories, giving them a slight advantage over some retailers carrying a broader assortment.