The Importance of Having a Return Policy
The Internet is a vast area filled with opportunities to buy every imaginable item ever created. This creates an amazing shopping center for consumers to find items they did not know they were searching to purchase. Everyone at some point finds something they absolutely cannot live without or that would make a perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for family member. If they are inclined, they can even purchase a star for a loved one.
It is hard enough for an e-commerce business to be found on the Internet, and it is even harder to get a potential customer to trust them enough to hand over their credit card information. While it is wonderful that the Internet has opened the doors to small retailers to reach a wider audience, it is difficult to get a customer to trust a business they do not know.
A return policy will go a long way towards gaining the trust of a casual Internet shopper.
A customer is going to look for several things when they are making a decision on whether or not to buy. A return policy gives them confidence that if there is a problem, or they do not like the item, they can return it for their money back. It is when a consumer thinks there is no way to get a refund that they are less likely to purchase. Gaining the confidence of the consumer involves letting them know taking their money is not the end of the relationship.
A customer that believes that they will not only receive what they are purchasing, but also feels as if they can send something back that does not meet their expectations is less likely to hesitate to purchase the item. Things are not always as they seem on the Internet, and it is possible that colors will be different or that it does not fit the way the customer believed it would. When that customer is sure they may return an item, they are more inclined to believe other information on the website.
A happy customer will let others know where they made their purchase. An unhappy customer will tell three times as many people about where they made their purchase.
When a customer is not happy with their purchase, and they feel they have no recourse in order to get their money back, they are more inclined to give bad feedback, file claims on their credit cards and add their opinion to consumer review groups.
However, when a customer is dissatisfied with their purchase, but they are able to send it back and receive their money back, they are less likely to embark upon a negative campaign against the business. By allowing the customer the option to return an item, a business increases the possibility that the customer will purchase from them again. The customer’s dissatisfaction with the item could have been something as simple as being the wrong color. When the customer returns the item, they may decide to exchange it for another color.
By providing customers with a return policy, the business takes the guesswork out of the transaction. A customer will know what they need to do in order to return an item. They will know the policies of the business, so there is no misunderstanding as to who pays for return shipping, or if there is a restocking fee.
A clear return policy will give the potential customer all the necessary information needed to make the decision to buy or not.
A customer that trusts a business to do as they say they will is willing to complete a purchase.