Ecommerce is set to grow in India – estimates from the industry say that it will contribute almost 8-10% of the total retails turnover in the years ahead. This is a substantial number considering that it is a sunrise industry. A number of new businesses that have been featured in our very own Intuit Small Business India Blog are ecomm start-ups –
eg: LazyBone Publications – online coaching class, Tupples – the online pet store, Giveter – online gift store,
UnWrapIndia – online store for Indian handicrafts, etc. Customer experience is of utmost importance in any eCommerce venture. Towards this end, a clear and fair return policy goes a long way in building trust amongst the online shoppers. In this article, we will discuss what all to bear in mind while drawing up your returns policy.
Specify The Articles That Can Be Returned:
Make a list of all the non-returnable articles and display this list in such a way that the prospective customer can find and read it easily. Take care not to include every item from your wares in this list, as you would scare away your customers then. The articles that have been identified as non-returnable should be justified and logical, say cosmetics that have been opened or under-garments that have been used even once.
Specify The Timeline Within Which Returns Can Be Made:
There are a number of things that need to be considered in this category. Make sure you spell each of these clearly and in simple English in the returns policy. • Most eCommerce businesses have a 30-day return policy.
Decide on the return period permissible and put it clearly on the returns policy • Be specific about whether you will consider the date of shipping as the returns-date, or the date of actual receipt of goods • If you are keen to make a phased deadline in proportion to refunds permissible, spell it out
Specify Whether There Will Be A Refund or Replacement:
Once again, leave no ambiguity in this. It obviously makes more sense to offer a replacement as you wouldn’t want to let go of the business opportunity. Plus, since the customer genuinely wanted that particular product, he/she will like it if you replace the returns he made. However, should you allow refunds, make sure the returns policy mentions it clearly.
Specify Who Will Bear The Shipping Charges:
Logically, if the goods are being returned, the business should bear the courier/postal charges. Hence, even if the customer pays for the shipping charges, make sure you reimburse the expense so made. Should you decide otherwise, specify it in the returns policy. Additionally, the key to a good returns policy are:
• Use of clear and plain English. Refrain from using technical/legal jargons
• Ensure the policy is crisp and to-the-point. Avoid a 3-4 paged policy document!
• Ensure that the returns policy is easy to find/refer to in your website. The customer should not have to spend an inordinate amount of time locating it We’d love to hear from you about your experiences/ learnings in handling returns from your customers.
Let us know if you consider any other point, not mentioned in this article, to be of importance.