Steps to build your eCommerce return policy

An eCommerce return policy is essential for any eCommerce store as it covers rules as to what can be returned or exchanged by a customer. It serves as a guideline for customers regarding what product can be returned if their order has any issue. Typically, most eCommerce return policies include the supported products to return, the return window, acceptable return, and how to return the product.

In setting up an eCommerce return policy, there are essential steps or things that should be included because they can help boost your sales. When navigating through your brand in the ever-competitive world of online retailing, some things might slip through your eyes. Most times, your return policy is one of such things.

To help you build your return policy as a new eCommerce online retailer, here are the essential steps to follow to have a comprehensive eCommerce return policy.

Determine which product can be returned/exchanged

Your return policy should have a list of items that can be exchanged or returned. Here, you have to specify the particular products a customer can return or not. For instance, after delivery, consumable items shouldn’t be returned whereas physical products that have been opened and used shouldn’t be returned.

Determine return time window

While customers can return any product, there must be a timeframe when it should be done. Understandably, customers can return the product between 30, 60, or 90 days. However, this return time window will depend on the product category. For instance, you cannot return a phone you purchase after 30 days because you might have used it the wrong way. Setting a clear timeframe for your return policy prevents further issues.

Determine return conditions

Ensure to enlighten your customers to understand the details of the return policy and the process involved. With this, the return process can be handled quickly and effectively. Furthermore, set clear guidelines on the process and how the item can be returned.

For example, clothing retailers usually require returned products to have attached tags.

Determine how a customer can initiate a return

Here, you give customers how they will contact you if they want to initiate a return. Most eCommerce store allows customers to initiate a return through phone call and email. Additionally, you can also include a chatbot or other means of communication that is easier for customers.

Be simple, straightforward, and careful with vocabulary

When writing your eCommerce return policy, use clear language that anyone can understand, notwithstanding their academic level. Frequently, consumers face complications when trying to return a product because of the choice of words used in the return policy. Write in a conversational and friendly tone that instills peace of mind when a customer wants to return a product.

Particularly, avoid using a commanding tone with “must”, “have to”.eCommerce return policy

Make your policy easy to find

Besides communicating your return policy in a friendly and straightforward manner, you need to make it easy to find. You won’t want your customers to go through the stress of finding your return policy. There are several places you can place the return policy, such as in carts, within product pages, as a static header or footer on your website, and at the checkout page.

Automate return process

Handling eCommerce returns involves many repetitive tasks. Analyzing which steps to automate can save time for both your staff and customers. Moreover, you can only integrate workflow automation with a clear return policy and planned steps for various different scenarios.


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