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Importance of Easy returns and exchange to increase Customer Retention

Importance of Easy returns and exchange to increase Customer Retention

Importance of Easy returns and exchange to increase Customer Retention


July 2, 2021

October 4, 2022

In times when we have things easily delivered to our doorstep, be it that dress you wanted or a book that you had been anticipating to read for so long or just a bucket of hot wings because you couldn’t give way to your cravings, name it and you have easy access to it via the countless websites and apps available to you.

However one of the major setbacks of online shopping is it allows only one of your senses to examine the product, your sense of sight. There is only an image and the brand’s name to win over your trust, there may be options that allow you to select the size or the material but one can never really guarantee that what you see is what you will end up liking once it arrives. Picture getting off a phone call with the delivery person who will be dropping off your product in the next few minutes. After a bit of waiting, your doorbell rings, you have a smile on your face as you finally get to try on that new pair of shoes you had ordered a few days back. You bring in your order. Unpack it. Take the shoes out of the box. Put on one shoe, then the other, but oh to your dismay, it does not seem to fit in at all! What do you do now? Depending upon the returns and exchange policy would be the only option left.

Hence, it is very important to have an easy process of returns and exchange that would truly act as a messiah to your customers. Having a solid, hassle-free returns and exchange policy seamlessly wins over the confidence and loyalty of the customers.

Happy customers ensure happy business!

For any business set up, the satisfaction of customers should be a top priority. The better the services the larger and stronger a business grows. Any problem or dissatisfaction conveyed by the customers, be it a large one or an ant-sized one, will cause the business to fall like a domino effect. Hence, ensuring their encounter with your business is an easy and breezy one is very essential. Mismanaged returns and exchange of damaged or unsatisfactory products online has always been a paramount cause for the downhill performance of any website or brand.

Set up a portal or system that handles returns and exchanges

Create a separate portal or a system that makes things smooth for both the business and the customers. Time is of the essence and a system that saves time goes a long way in customer retention.

"The easiest way to handle return and exchange queries is through automation. Customer support tools like DelightChat allow you to set up automated responses for customer queries on all your support channels so you can improve your first response time, build brand loyalty, and get repeat purchases. This, in turn, increases customer retention."

Understanding the Post Purchase Journey can help you in Customer Retention

There might be several other brands and competitors that might be selling similar products as yours. You might sell the product at a cheaper price as compared to your competitors to boost the number of sales. But they would never come back to your ecommerce store again if they are not satisfied with your product and services even if it's cheaper. 

Here comes the necessity of understanding the post purchase journey of your customer. From receiving the order to requesting a refund or exchange of product and ending up with a replaced product or a refund. This Post purchase journey is what actually decides that your customer will come back again to your ecommerce store or not. Starting from the return and exchange policy, they should be clear and precise, and every user should understand the terms of returns and exchange when they read your policy. The entire post purchase journey should be short and hassle free for the customer. You can send them emails and SMS to notify them about the progress. This will build their confidence in you and hence increase the retention.

Therefore a well versed post purchase journey can:

  • Encourage your customers to keep visiting your store
  • Combat buyer’s remorse
  • Help you gain strong grounds in the ecommerce business among many competitors.

Understand the difference between Returns and Exchange

Given the circumstances of an unsatisfactory product, a customer has two options, first, to return the product which also means refunding their money and second, exchanging the product, given that they have a choice of doing so based on the existence of a policy offered by the brand/website.

When a customer chooses to return a product, they are expressing their dissatisfaction for one or the other reason and hence opt for the return.

Whereas an exchange would reflect their dissatisfaction with that particular item or the wrong item they must have ordered for some reason, not corresponding to the quality or the buying experience that they had with you.

It is very important to understand this difference between the two terms and in categorizing your customers’ requests to handle them accordingly. Categorizing the products as eligible for returns or exchange should also be clearly mentioned in the policy to avoid any confusion.

Bullets points to emphasise on the importance of returns and exchange policy for a better customer retention

  • A customer-centric policy creates a strong base for the business as a whole
  • A smooth buying experience is the key strategy in winning over a customer’s trust, hence ensuring that they keep coming back
  • Such a policy may not guarantee a boom in the business but surely guarantees a higher retention rate
  • Surveys have shown that 70% of shoppers online do check the returns and exchange policy before purchasing,hence, having a policy that lives up to their expectations also has a positive impact on the reputation of the business. 

The longer you delay, the longer your customers will have to suffer. Now that you know all the ingredients to a recipe so brilliant, go on! Start building on your policy and prepare for a future with a strong customer retention ability.