How To Create a Return and Refund Policy

Online stores cannot afford to overlook return and refund policies. Today more than ever, refund policies are an important part of brand development, attracting new customers, closing sales, and nurturing relationships. Research shows that 68% of online shoppers review refund policies before completing a purchase.

In a perfect world, customers will love your products and will never make returns. But as any online business owner will admit, this is far from the case. As such, online retailers should assume returns are inevitable and take it as a golden opportunity to land new clients and retain existing ones.

Here’s a guide on creating a return policy and tips to bear in mind.  

Answer a customer’s potential questions

Your goal should be to include as much detail in the policy as possible. Anticipating potential questions and addressing them concisely will save you time. If the answers are easy to find, the company won’t have to deal with many customer service emails and calls from confused shoppers.

So what should you include in a refund policy? You can start by addressing common questions, including:

  • Who pays for return shipping?
  • Does the customer have to include an order or receipt slip, print a return label, or include other documents with the return?
  • Is it mandatory to return the product in its original packaging? What happens if the customer doesn’t have the packaging or it’s damaged?
  • How long will a refund take?
  • What products or services are refundable and which aren’t?
  • Is there a time limit for returns and refunds?

Sprinkle some personality

Write the return policy in a tone that matches your brand. If your brand is fun and quirky, let that shine in the return policy. It’s allowed to crack a couple of jokes or include a well-placed GIF. 

Since many customers read refund policies before making a purchase, connecting with them promotes your mission and increases conversions.

Make it simple and easy to understand

The last thing customers want is to spend time decoding technical legal terms. Going through a return process is unnerving for some, and using complicated language can make the process even harder.

Unfortunately, if a customer feels it’s hard work to purchase from you, they’ll not come back. The best way to make the policy easy to understand is to write how you speak and use simpler vocabulary.

Don’t blame the customer for the mistake

You shouldn’t blame the customer for making a mistake that leads to a refund request. Instead, be neutral since there could be numerous reasons why they weren’t satisfied with the product. 

Sometimes, it’s the store; other times, it’s the customer or the product doesn’t meet their needs. Focus on providing solutions to unhappy customers and learning how to improve your service or product instead of assigning blame. 

Don’t copy and paste

Businesses are different. No return policy template is perfect for your brand without needing alterations. Every return policy should be customized to match your product, brand, and business model. 

Make the return policy easily accessible

Link the return policy in different pages on your website so that a customer doesn’t miss an opportunity to read it before purchase. Doing this reduces the chances of poor customer experience, especially when the customer has to pay for return shipping, and there are short timelines for returns. 

You can include the return policy on the following:

  • Product pages
  • Shopping cart page
  • Payment and checkout page
  • FAQ page
  • Footer of the site
  • Post-purchase emails

Create a winning return policy

Overall, creating a great return policy is striking a balance that works with your business and customers’ needs. If you can automate the return process or cater to the return shipping, even better.

by Luigi