Written by David Renwick
Up to 84% of customers will not go back to an online store after a bad returns experience. Setting up returns management is crucial for building customer trust and loyalty!
Up to 77% of returns are processed by existing customers, which means that your loyal customers are often spending more. This alone makes simple returns management worth your while if loyal customers spend up to 67% more than new customers on average.
In this article we are covering the importance of eCommerce returns policies, how to write your own (with examples!), and how to streamline your returns process with third party shipping integrations.
The short answer? Yes, your eCommerce returns policy will probably affect who buys from you.
According to Pitney Bowes, 54% of online shoppers are unlikely to buy from you if you have an unclear or unfair returns policy. 67% of customs check your returns page before they even make a purchase.
Your job as a primarily online business is to reduce the number of reasons for not purchasing from you.
Returns management might seem expensive, burdensome, or like a bit of a hassle to organize. However, it is something that eCommerce businesses must get right to compete in the current online marketplace.
So what does a good returns policy for your eCommerce store actually look like? No matter how you decide to write it, it should be clear and customer-centered. Below is a quick checklist of things to remember when you are crafting your returns policy.
Need an example of a good returns policy? Below are a few Starshipit customers who are killing it with their eCommerce returns management. We are using them as examples because their shipping and returns policies are hassle free and customer centric.
ShowPo has instant returns management with easy shipping. They also use language that puts customers at the heart of returns while still explicitly stating what can and can’t be returned. Click here to read the full returns policy page on their website.
Eat Your Water Australia has a clearly marked “Exchanges & Returns policy at the bottom of their homepage. This is important for eCommerce businesses when more than half of customers check returns policies before purchasing. Check out their clearly outlined returns policy below.
eCommerce platforms like Shopify will usually have some kind of automatic returns management software. Your system for processing returns will depend on which app or integration you use. If you use Shopify, you can process a return directly in your order fulfilment dashboard. This lets you organize return shipping labels and track orders as they come back.
Doing it this way still requires quite a lot of manual admin, so you might decide to use a third party returns manager. Using a third party app will reduce a lot of manual time spent on returns. The easier it is for your customers the better! Nobody likes to process returns, however 92% of customers say that they will purchase again if the return is simple.
Return Prime and Clicksit Return Center are both high rated, global third party returns apps. Return Prime starts from free, and Clicksit Return Center charges per return as opposed to a monthly charge which is perfect if you still do very few returns.
However, the easiest way to set up your returns management is to have an all-in-one, end-to-end shipping solution.
Managing returns can be complex for an e-commerce company, especially with the added burden of shipping expectations. Starshipit simplifies the returns process from the moment a customer purchases.
Rather than coordinating the shipping process on your own, the Starshipit integration app:
Starshipit has three convenient options for return management based on your unique needs. You can either automatically email a return label when an item is shipped, pack a return label in with each shipment, or customers can generate their own labels using a self-service portal.
With help from Starshipit, you can simplify the returns process like never before, giving your customers everything necessary to send back any item at any time. From initial shipments to managing inventory returns, Starshipit is your go-to resource for logistics support. We offer returns for our courier partners including DHL, Australia Post, StarTrack and Couriers Please.