How to (Clearly) Explain Shipping and Return Policies

How to (Clearly) Explain Shipping and Return Policies

June 18, 2018 6:02 pm

Ideally, a client involves your website, finds a product she needs to purchase, places it in her cart, after which completes the acquisition. Close to the top of that course of, an typically-missed set of explanations can sabotage the transaction: the insurance policies on delivery, refunds, and returns.

Let’s look at these parts to ensure your buyers attain the end line.


Consumers who learn your delivery info need to know the place you ship to, how lengthy it takes to ship, and when the packages will arrive — along with the delivery value. Some clients might have to know the service or carriers as a result of they've one tackle for the postal service and a special one for UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Along with presenting your delivery choices and the price of every, use the next inquiries to ensure you’ve coated the much less apparent but important factors.

  • When you’re U.S.-based mostly, do you ship solely to the continental forty eight states or additionally to Alaska and Hawaii and territories comparable to Guam and Puerto Rico? What about army and diplomatic addresses?
  • Which nations do you ship to and which do you not ship to? Are there gadgets that can't be shipped internationally?
  • Do you ship packages the day of the order? In that case, what's the cutoff? If not, when will a package deal get shipped?
  • What's your normal delivery technique? Do you supply quicker choices?
  • For those who supply free delivery, are there exclusions and circumstances?
  • Can consumers know for positive earlier than they finalize their order that their gadgets are in inventory?
  • Do you present monitoring info for all shipments?
  • Do you supply in-retailer pickup? In that case, what’s the time-frame?

Returns and Refunds

Many shoppers need to know a service provider’s returns coverage earlier than they full a purchase order. If an merchandise doesn’t match or is totally different from the pictures, they need to know their choices.

Use this guidelines to deal with all of the factors your returns and refunds coverage might embrace:

  • Do you supply an unconditional return on all purchases, together with a one hundred pc refund, if a purchaser isn’t glad? In that case, do you additionally refund the delivery value?
  • What's your deadline for returns? Are there totally different deadlines relying on the merchandise?
  • What's the process for returns?
  • What's the tackle for returns?
  • Can presents be returned or exchanged with no receipt or packing slip?
  • Are there insurance policies to return or refund “on-sale” gadgets?
  • For a legitimate return, do gadgets must be of their unique situation, within the unique packaging, or with tags hooked up?

Once I was new to on-line buying, I might all the time verify the place an organization was based mostly in case I didn’t obtain the products or they have been misrepresented. If no firm handle was offered, or no phone quantity, I backed out of the location. Cowl this base as nicely.

Examine for Readability

Make sure that insurance policies for delivery, returns, and refunds are outstanding in your website. Don’t disguise them underneath a hyperlink referred to as “Phrases and Circumstances,” “Authorized,” or comparable. Ask a few shoppers who've by no means seen your website to seek out your delivery choices and refund insurance policies. If it takes them longer than 30 seconds or greater than two clicks, that’s too lengthy.

Bonobos, for instance, hyperlinks on the backside of each web page to its delivery and refund insurance policies, which additionally embrace useful movies.


Ask your testers a number of questions that different buyers may need, resembling, “Can we ship to Greece?” “Do we provide in a single day supply?” or “Is there a restocking payment?”

And don’t overlook to incorporate your return insurance policies on receipts and packing slips.

I appeared on the return and refund insurance policies for a few dozen on-line shops. The reasons have been typically very complicated.

For instance, one website stated, “The client is liable for making certain that the Submit Workplace will ship to the respective delivery location.” What does that imply? Are clients answerable for actions of the postal service?

One other website stated, “The return delivery charge could also be deducted out of your refund.” Properly, will it or gained’t it? Does the service provider flip a coin to determine?

In one other occasion, the location wrote “Return for refund or retailer change inside 30 days.” Is that 30 days from the acquisition date or 30 days from the date acquired?

Some insurance policies seem easy, however they lack crucial particulars. Lululemon, the attire retailer, states a seemingly straightforward return coverage: “Breathe straightforward. Returns are free and could be finished in individual or by mail.” Nevertheless it ought to have disclosed proper there that there are additional circumstances and restrictions. These embrace “Gadgets have to be unwashed and unworn with the hangtag hooked up and accompanied by proof of cost.”

Modify the Tone

Write your delivery, return, and refund insurance policies with conversational phrases, as for those who have been speaking to the reader. Be good but agency. Keep away from legalistic or harsh language akin to “you will need to,” “it isn't our duty,” “in our sole discretion,” or “the client is required to…” Additionally, keep away from jargon akin to “RMA” or “SKU.” Somebody with a restricted schooling wants to know the way it all works.

Emphasize the constructive. One ecommerce website listed 17 bullet factors on its refunds web page. Fourteen of them started with the phrase “No.” It’s a bombardment of negativity! Think about the distinction between these two variations of the identical coverage:

Destructive: “In case you’ve opened the bottle, you possibly can’t return it for a refund, and for those who do return an merchandise, we don't refund your delivery payment. After 60 days you're not entitled to a return or refund.”

Constructive: “We settle for returns of all unopened gadgets inside 60 days of receipt for a full refund minus any delivery charges.”

Sweet Stamp Shop uses a mostly positive tone — "We happily take back unopened product ... ." — to say that it doesn’t accept opened products, requires the original order details, and provides refunds as store credits rather than money back.

Candy Stamp Store makes use of a principally constructive tone — “We fortunately take again unopened product … .” — to say that it doesn’t settle for opened merchandise, requires the unique order particulars, and supplies refunds as retailer credit quite than a refund.

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