Good Return Policy Leads To Loyalty

With the holiday season over, retailers will now have to deal with returns and they will need a good return policy to maintain customer loyalty, says Clarus Commerce. A survey by the company says slightly more than half (51 per cent) of consumers don’t anticipate a change in their return behaviour heading into 2022, 36 per cent anticipate they’ll have the same number of returns, but that they will take longer. And 13 per cent of consumers anticipate they’ll have a smaller number of total returns, but likely only because they don’t want to deal with the return process at all. Additionally, 10 per cent of consumers say returns are often not worth the hassle, so they keep them, which could lead to dissatisfaction with the brand. The survey says that consumers (73 per cent) are unlikely to return to a retailer if they had a bad return experience (with 39 per cent of consumers somewhat unlikely to return and 34 per cent very unlikely to return). That’s why it’s critical to meet customers’ expectations post-holiday to ensure the returns process is as smooth and painless as possible, especially if they are already stressed going in, says Clarus Commerce. The top features consumers are looking for from a retailer regarding returns are a free label, box, or parcel (71 per cent), payment returned to their preferred method (51 per cent), and fast turnaround for the refund (46 per cent). Brands should take this wish list seriously. For example, 53 per cent of consumers are less likely to shop at a store that only provides store credit or a store gift card for a return. If an issue arises that requires speaking to customer service, 47 per cent of consumers prefer to communicate over the phone when needing to speak to the retailer’s customer service department when processing a return. It should be noted that 61 per cent of consumers still prefer to process their returns in-store while only 30 per cent mail the return back to the retailer. This means that stores need to be clean, orderly, and efficient. Any time that shoppers are coming into a store is an opportunity to delight them – even if their visit is to return something.