If you think a ‘free shipping’ is the only determining factor for most online shoppers, then you should look beyond. A significant number of shoppers don’t buy online fearing that it will be difficult for them to return the purchased items.
In fact, 52% of consumers have abandoned an online purchase out of fear of a difficult return process, according to a recent Splitit survey. And this number reaches 67% for millennials (ages 25-34).
As a small business owner, you should make your return policy hassle-free so as to bust your customers’ fear. Doing so will not only improve overall customer experience but also boost your online sales.
Easy Return Policy – A Critical Determining Factor
People love to buy things online, and they don’t keep all the items delivered to them. They return the purchased items that don’t meet their expectations.
60% of consumers have returned an online purchase, and 48% of online shoppers have bought multiple variations of an item with an intention to keep the best one and return the rest items, as the Splitit survey finds.
The point here is online shoppers return products. In fact, 38% of respondents have returned up to 10% of all purchases they have made, according to the survey.
My friend, free and fast delivery is not the only thing online shoppers want. They also look for a hassle-free, easy return policy because they may have to return what they have bought.
So there is no surprise that 52% of online shoppers, as the survey states, have left a shopping cart out of fear of a difficult return process.
Brad Paterson, CEO of Splitit, said, “Whether it’s a fear of buyer’s remorse or uncertainty about fit, our research shows that, today, returns are a top consideration for consumers even before their purchase is completed.”
What Customers Look for in Return Policy
Online shoppers look for companies that offer a hassle-free, good return policy. But what makes a return policy good?
According to Splitit’s survey, here are the top qualities consumers look for in a return policy:
- 20% of shoppers would be less likely to buy from retailers that charge a return shipping fee
- 30% of online shoppers considered “no questions asked” as the most important feature of a good return policy
- 39% of online shoppers stated “free shipping” as the overall most important attribute of a good return policy
Being a small business owner, you should always strive to offer your customers a remarkable shopping experience. And needless to say, an easy return policy can help you achieve this objective.
“More than ever, we are seeing the importance of an easy return process to give consumers peace of mind and increase revenue, as returns are determining purchases long before a customer reaches checkout,” Mr. Paterson continued.
“By combining a simple and transparent return policy with flexible payments options like installment payments or buy now, pay later solutions, retailers are able to give consumers the confidence and the time to make the right purchase without creating a burden on their finances,” he added.
In today’s time, when customers want fast and free delivery, you cannot ignore the importance of an easy return policy if you want to stand out from the crowd and grow your sales.
Spend some time on research and create a return policy that yields happy customers.
Also, you should note that just having a good return policy is not enough. You have to make your employees and customers aware of it. In addition to clearly stating the return policy on your eCom website, you can also mention key points on the invoices you send to your customers.
About the Survey
Splitit conducted this survey in November 2019 jointly with Google Consumer survey. The survey included 500 respondents from the US.