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How to explain (clearly) the politics of transport and return

Ideally, a customer visits your site, finds a product that she wants to buy, puts it in her shopping cart and completes the purchase. Towards the end of this process, a set of often overlooked explanations can sabotage the transaction: shipping policies, refunds and returns.

Let's take a look at these items to make sure your customers complete their purchase.


Buyers who read your shipping information want to know where you are shipping, how long it takes to ship and when the packages will arrive – in addition to shipping costs. Some customers may need to know the carrier or carriers because they have an address for the postal service and another for UPS, FedEx and DHL.

In addition to presenting your shipping options and the cost of each, use the following questions to make sure you have covered the less obvious but essential points.

  • If you are based in the United States, do you ship only in the 48 mainland states or also in Alaska and Hawaii and in territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico? What about military and diplomatic addresses?
  • Which countries do you ship to and who do not deliver? Are there items that can not be shipped overseas?
  • Do you ship parcels on the day of the order? If so, what is the break? If not, when will a package be shipped?
  • What is your standard shipping method? Do you offer faster options?
  • If you offer free shipping, are there exclusions and conditions?
  • Can buyers be sure before finalizing their order that their items are in stock?
  • Do you offer tracking information for all shipments?
  • Do you offer in-store pickup? If yes, what is the delay?

Returns and Refunds

Many consumers want to know the return policy of a merchant before making a purchase. If an article does not fit or is different from the photos, it wants to know their options.

Use this listing for all points that your return and refund policy might include:

  • Do you offer an unconditional return on all purchases, with a 100% refund, if a buyer is not satisfied? If yes, do you also refund the shipping costs?
  • What is your return deadline? Are there different deadlines depending on the articles?
  • What is the procedure for returns?
  • What is the address for returns?
  • Can gifts be returned or exchanged without a receipt or packing slip?
  • Are there policies to return or refund items on sale?
  • For a valid declaration, must the articles be in their original condition, in their original packaging, or with labels?

When I was a beginner in online shopping, I always checked where a company was based in case I would not receive the goods or if they were deformed. If no business address was provided, or no phone number, I pulled out of the site. Also cover this base.

Checking Clarity

Make sure that shipping, return and refund policies are important on your site. Do not hide them under a link called "Terms and Conditions", "Legal" or similar. Ask a few consumers who have never seen your site find your shipping options and refund policies. If it takes them more than 30 seconds or more than two clicks, it's too long.

Bonobos, for example, associates at the bottom of each page his shipping and reimbursement policies, which also include useful videos.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM2j1qURcUI?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]

Ask your testers a few questions that other buyers might have, such as "Do we ship to Greece?" "Do we offer overnight delivery?" Or "Is there a restocking fee? ? "

And do not forget to include your return policies on receipts and packing slips.

I've watched return and refund policies for about a dozen online stores. Explanations were sometimes very confusing.

For example, one site stated, "The customer is responsible for ensuring that the post office will deliver to the respective shipping location." What does this mean? Are customers responsible for the actions of the postal service?

Another website said: "The return shipping charges can be deducted from your refund." Well, will it do it or not? Does the merchant pull a coin to decide?

In another case, the site wrote "Return for refund or store exchange within 30 days". Is it 30 days from the date of purchase or 30 days from the date of receipt?

Some strategies seem simple, but they lack critical details. Lululemon, the clothing retailer, says an apparently easy return policy: "Breathe easily. Returns are free and can be made in person or by mail. "But it should have revealed that there are other conditions and restrictions.These include" Items must be unwashed and unworn with the attached marker and accompanied by proof of payment. " "

Adjusting the tone

Write your shipping, return and refund rules with conversational words, as if you were talking to the reader. Be nice and firm. Avoid legal or harsh terms such as "you must", "it is not our responsibility", "in our sole discretion" or "the customer must …". Also avoid jargon such as "RMA" or "SKU". Someone with a limited education needs to understand how it all works.

Highlight the positive. An ecommerce site listed 17 bullet points on its repayments page. Fourteen of them started with the word "No". It's a bombardment of negativity! Consider the difference between these two versions of the same policy:

Negative : "If you have opened the bottle, you can not return it for a refund, and if you return an item, we will not refund your shipping costs. you are no longer entitled to a return or refund. "

Positive : "We accept returns of any unopened items within 60 days of receiving them for a full refund less shipping charges."

<img class="wp-image-154454 size-large" src="https://www.practicalecommerce.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/sweet-570×587.jpg" alt=" Sweet Stamp Shop uses a predominantly positive tone – "We gladly pick up the unopened product …". – to say that it does not accept open products, requires the details of the original order, and provides refunds like store credits rather than money. "Width =" 570 "height =" 587 "/>

Sweet Stamp Shop uses a predominantly positive tone -" We gladly pick up an unopened product … "- to say that it does not accept not open products, requires the details of the original order, and provides refunds as store credits rather than money.

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