With Peak just around the corner, it’s time to start your preparations for the most wonderful time of the year (right?). No we don’t mean fetching your Christmas decorations out of the loft or doing the final head count for Christmas dinner, we’re talking about you prepping your returns policy. With 67% of shoppers checking a retailers return policy before buying, and Peak Season driving more shoppers to your website than any other time of year, you better make sure your policy is up to scratch! With retail peak starting earlier and earlier each year, it's now more important than ever to make sure your policy is the best it can be.
In just a few simple steps, we’ll tell you how to get the perfect policy for Peak, certain to get you on everyone’s nice list!
1) Extend Your Policy
For shoppers like me, Christmas shopping starts in September/October. This is why I’ll exclusively shop with retailers whose returns window goes right through to mid-January, at the least. So, if you're one of the retailers that still has a 30 or even 14 day returns policy, you need to look at extending your returns window! Through the holiday season, it’s more important than ever that people can take their time to return (there’s only so many shower gel gift sets and dressing gowns a person needs after all!). Depending on the size of their social circles and their calendar, gift giving can carry on right up until New Years for some shoppers! Not to mention, you don't want to have to force shoppers to make their returns between Christmas and New Year (especially if this means leaving the house!)
2) Make it Easy to Find
Just like the star that sits atop your tree, your returns policy should be the glimmering focal point of your website at every stage of the buyers journey. Shoppers can then shop with confidence, and be reassured that they can make a return if required, no big deal.
3) Free Returns
It’s the giving season after all! Why not give the gift of free returns to your shoppers? They can be massive differentiator for shoppers deciding where to spend that ever important October/November paycheck. From looking at a cross section of our clients, we found that on average, free returns can increase sales by 30%! Imagine what this figure could be during Peak, when people are even more likely to shop with returns in mind.
4) Time Scale
It’s important you make any changes you are going to make to your UK and International Policy as soon as possible. This will give you plenty of time to build customer confidence around the world. Shoppers will then also think of you as they start their holiday shopping! This also gives you chance to iron out any kinks before the real deal kicks in!
No-one wants to be greeted with harsh and unfriendly language any time of the year, but even less so in Peak. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so if your policy could do with some cheering up, now is the perfect time to do it! Avoid language that discourages people from making a return, returners are often your most loyal customers after all! With shoppers not only buying for themselves but other people too, it's even more likely that that they'll have to make a return or an exchange for something that doesn't fit. A friendly policy and easy process can help ensure a repeat purchase. In many cases, consumers will receive gifts from brands they've never shopped with before, making it likely that their first interaction with you will be when they make a return, so it's crucial you leave a great lasting impression.
So, there you have it. Five simple steps that are guaranteed to boost your popularity during the holiday season. With Peak so rapidly approaching, we recommend you look at your returns policy as soon as possible, what’s it saying about your business?
If you need help pimping your peak returns policy, let us know and our in-house policy pro, Fiona, will be in touch!