3 Essential Characteristics of a Return Policy


One of the greatest innovations of the past few years has been the introduction and rise of online shopping. Previously, if someone wanted to purchase something, they would have to go around stores trying to look for what they wanted. Instead, today, one does not even need to leave the house, confirming purchases and paying for them solely on a laptop or mobile phone.

Such a development in shopping has also heightened the significance of offering returns. Previously, customers could see the object for itself and interact with it. However, with online shopping, this is not possible. Hence, customers ask that returns be possible in case of wrong orders or if they are not satisfied with the product upon receiving it.

This is why it is increasingly important that any company that sells online should have a return policy that contains procedures for return merchandise authorization (RMA). By doing so, a company can drastically improve the management of any requests for product returns.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a return policy:

1. It must be clear and concise.

You would want your customer to fully understand the content and terms of your return policy in order to avoid any miscommunications or misunderstandings. Hence, it is important that your policy is worded in such a way that is easy to read and comprehend. This means using clear and concise wording, as well as illustrations if need be.

Moreover, given its importance to them, you want to make sure that your customers can easily find your return policy on your website. This means featuring it prominently, as well as in multiple pages if possible. If your terms differ from item to item, it may be advisable to list the return policy for a specific item on the item’s page, in order to avoid any confusion or wrong assumptions.

2. It must be convenient for the customer.

woman walking, hands full of shopping bags

Today, the return policy of a company is now a factor in whether or not a customer chooses to make a purchase. If a customer finds a company’s return policy inconvenient or unfavorable, the customer might not want to take the risk of buying. Customers would always want a safety option, given that they are spending hard-earned money, and a good return policy provides that for them.

Among the characteristics of a favorable return policy are speed and efficiency in processing any returns or exchanges, as well as this coming at little or no cost to the customer. A good return policy must put the customer first in order to build a positive image of the company in the customer’s mind, as well as to illustrate that their opinions and desires are valid and being heard by the company.

3. It must count the cost to the business.

While the customer must be prioritized, this does not mean sacrificing revenue and profit. This means that a return policy should also protect the company from abuse from those who seek to exploit it.

For example, a company could state that returns are allowed only under specific circumstances. This way, customers cannot simply return a product due to any small complaint. Another option is to specify a timeframe in which returns would be accepted; beyond a certain date, returns will no longer be allowed.

Return policies are now a necessary part of retail operations, especially if you want to grow your business and tap into a new market through online selling. Hence, it is recommended that you have a good one in place to fully take advantage of this opportunity.

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