The Webretailer News for December 20, 2022

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Today’s tips contain 532 words and take two minutes and seven seconds to read.

Let’s talk about returns. A CNBC report last year laid out some key statistics from the National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail. 

First, retail overall received back around 16.6% of the total merchandise customers purchased in 2021 — a jump 10.6% in 2020. And of that 16.6%, the average rate of returns for online purchases was 20.8% — up from 18.1% in 2020. 

With Holiday Season numbers even higher than last year, online sellers should expect an influx of returns coming next week. It’s a little late to change any standing policies now. But we’re laying out our top eCommerce returns policy tips, so you can make adjustments.

return policy tips

eCommerce return policy tips 2023

For a full rundown of these tips, check out our answers to every question for eCommerce returns.

If you need help to manage your returns, here’s a list of top returns management services including Returns Worldwide, and Ezi Returns

Different businesses require different returns policies

With so many order fulfillment processes possible, returns policies vary from site to site. For example:

  • Full refunds
  • Partial refunds
  • Store credit exchanges
  • Free return shipping

In these policies, businesses tread the line between cost and customer service. Large enterprises like Amazon and Walmart can afford to offer a scaled, free, and no-questions-asked returns policy that customers love. But that’s not always possible for online SMBs who often have to charge for return shipping or can offer only store credit. 

The goal is to avoid forcing a returns policy into your business model. Analyze your books, gauge and survey your target market, and then create a policy that works for your business. You don’t have to offer an Amazon return policy to be a successful web retailer — it can even encourage return fraud.

Make your return policy clear and known

Up to two-thirds of your shoppers will visit your return page before purchasing. And if your policy is hard to find, trust in your brand will dip during the purchase process, and you have a higher chance of losing a sale. 

Sellers don’t want returns, but don’t make it difficult to find your returns policy. Include a link to it in the footer of your site, make it available throughout the buying process — below shopping carts and on receipts. 

And when customers read your policy, let there be no room for error. Completely lay out your policy and include an FAQ that addresses any specific ‘returns’ situations. Keep this updated throughout the life of your business as you learn from interactions with your customers.

Align your returns policy with your marketing strategy and brand

Brands fight to stand out in the eCommerce world. And often, the balance can tip in your favor with solid customer service. Therefore, your returns policy should align with your brand in terms of experience. 

The tone of your policy should reflect the values of your business. This creates a uniform customer experience from the first click to checkout. If you throw a curveball with a harshly worded returns policy, you risk alienating your customer base.

Also in the news

  1. Amazon improves fulfillment reporting. Amazon Seller Central.
  2. BigCommerce is laying off 13% of its workforce. BusinessWire.


Jake Pool

Jake Pool

A content writer in the SaaS, FinTech, and eCommerce spaces, Jake Pool has written hundreds of articles and reviews for dozens of corporate blogs and online publications. With four years under his wing, readers can expect many more informative articles in the future.

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