6 Things E-Commerce Entrepreneurs Should Include in Their Return Policies

What is one overlooked thing e-commerce entrepreneurs should include in their return policies?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Funny return policy
photo credit: Dave Woodward

1. The Ability to Find It

Often, many e-commerce startups think of their return policy as just a box on their checklist. It has to be done so let’s just bury it somewhere in the website. But these days, consumers expect to be able to find your return policy. It needs to not only be findable, but also easy to read. Go with the KISS (“Keep It Stupid Simple”) method and your customers will appreciate your transparency even more.

BJ Cook, Digital Operative Inc

2. Thoroughly Explained Reimbursement

Explain how the customer will be reimbursed in the event of a return, whether it’s store credit, a replacement, or a cash refund. It does make a difference to your clients.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Free Returns

I know this is a tough one but it really helps customers trust you to know that if they don’t like something they can easily return it for free. Nothing else will gain a customer’s trust as quickly. When we implemented this on our e-commerce site (we put it in every email and in checkout), it helped improve our conversions by almost 1 percent. To an e-commerce company doing over a million a month in sales this was huge.

John Rampton, Adogy

4. Specific Details

Make sure to be very specific in your return policy to avoid any confusion with your customers. This includes what can be returned, how long the customer has to return it and the refund methods. It will be hard to argue with a customer or win a chargeback if you omit any of this information in your policy.

Josh Weiss, Bluegala

5. An Incredible Guarantee

Don’t have a bad return policy. People want to trust the companies they’re buying from more than ever and they need guarantees. This is especially true if you’re selling online and people can’t necessarily try before they buy as they can in brick and mortar stores. To get around this simple problem, have an amazing return policy that makes it hard for them to say no. You could do something like a one-year warranty or 90-day unconditional return policy.

Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee

6. Outlined Turnaround Times

In an ideal world, customers would get their money back as soon as they drop off their return package at FedEx. But the reality is that return shipping doesn’t generally work that way. Being clear on when customers can expect to receive their refund after sending back a product will help them understand the timelines you’re challenged with too. That way, customers won’t get upset and ask, “Where’s my money?”

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep