There’s just no way around it; returns are just inherently part of e-commerce. With some e-commerce businesses, handling reverse logistics is just more complicated than sourcing goods and fulfilling orders through a 3PL of a third-party logistics company. However, even if this is the case for you, you must still have a fair and clear returns policy. That being said, when reviewing or creating a returns policy, below are some vital things to consider:
Which Products Are Returnable and Which Products Aren’t
Even if you have an extensive list of non-returnable items, if you clearly state why and the logic behind it is sound, you shouldn’t have issues with your customers, says a top logistics consulting provider in the area. For example, it’s common to refuse returns of undergarments and bathing suits for hygienic purposes.
Store Credit or Cash
You should factor in your customers and your preference when trying to determine which option to offer. Or you could just offer both.
What’s the Deadline
In general, the deadline for returns is between 15 days to 90 days, with 30 days from the time the order was received being the most common. When setting a deadline, make sure that you spell out the details to avoid issues later on. You could likewise consider having different return deadlines for different product categories.
Replacement or Refund
You don’t necessarily have to refund all returns. For example, if a smartphone was returned because of a crack in the screen, then you should offer to replace it with a smartphone in perfect condition. Majority of customers would deem in reasonable if you only allow refunds if you couldn’t replace their item.
Do You Need The Receipt
Whenever possible, consider accepting returns even without the original receipt, particularly if you and the customer have all the transaction details on file anyway. If you really must require the inclusion of the original receipt, make sure that it’s stated in your returns policy.
It’s likewise vital to note that depending on the laws in your state, specific regulations might influence limitations that you place on returned items. With this in mind, make sure to consult a professional to help you understand the laws that could affect your policy. Other than that, ensure that your returns policy is as detailed as possible and that it’s easily understood and seen by your customers.