Like every woman I’ve ever met, I wear a lot of hats and it’s not always easy to swap one out for the other.
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5 Ways to reduce your refund requests
Refund requests are part and parcel of having an online store and people request refunds for a variety of different reasons.
Think about the way you shop.
I know for myself, when I’m shopping online and there are a few styles I really like but can’t decide between, I will buy all 3 knowing I’ll most likely return 2 of them.
Or I fall head over heels in love with a style online which looks divine on the model or influencer, only to receive it and discover it looks like a sack of potatoes on me, I will certainly want to return that item – even if it’s to exchange for something else.
It’s nothing personal against the brand, I hate them and will never buy from them again it’s simply that the particular item I ordered doesn’t suit.
My number one piece of advice to any online store owner dealing with refund requests is- don’t take it personally!
So how do you deal with refunds and what percentage of return requests are normal, I hear you ask?
Over the past few months, my iland Co return rate has sat roughly at 5.75%.
Less than 6% have returned their purchases for various reasons.
This translates to a pretty great retention rate that I’m very pleased with!
Many of these customers receive a refund or credit note only to go on and buy something else.
One factor that does work in my favour is that many of my styles are ‘one-size-fits-most’, however, there are several ways you can reduce YOUR refund requests, even if you don’t have the same sizing system that I do.
I have a standard refund policy of 30-day returns for any full-priced, unworn items, and credit notes for sale items within the same time frame.
My refund policy is fair in my opinion, and also reassures my customers who may have been hovering over ‘Add to Cart’ that should their purchase not suit them, they can return for a full refund without too much hassle.
I’ve tested various refund policies including;
The 30-day returns policy works best for my e-commerce store, iland co.
I feel it’s reasonable and fair to both myself, the business owner AND to our customer base.
It allows ample time to receive their iland co. treasures, try the garments on and then get in touch if it’s not exactly what they had in mind.
Brands that don’t offer refunds run the risk of being sledged online.
I have seen countless threads across social media of people warning potential new customers to “Stay away! This brand does not offer refunds, purchase at your own peril!”.
Customers are incredibly vocal in this day and age, and share their dissatisfaction online publicly without hesitation!
So how do we keep our valued customer happy, and ensure the lowest return rates?
1 – Ensure you have accurate size guides on each of your styles so customers can measure themselves and check the item will fit, before ordering.
2 – Fully explain the fit, fabrication and style within your product descriptions. I’ll even try to advise if a piece might work on a cool vs warm skin tone, where I can.
3 – Do your absolute best to ensure consistent sizing across all your styles.
Have you ever purchased something from a brand you love because you think you know your size, only to find your new purchase is way too small?! I know I have, and it’s made me nervous about buying from them again!
4 – Invest in high-quality photography to ensure you are showcasing each item in it’s most accurate light.
If you are in the online fashion space like me, ensure you have an image showcasing the front, side and back angles! Plus a close up of the fabric print or detailing for every single style available.
5 – Invite your customers to ask questions about size, fabrication and fit via email, online chat or social media touchpoints and reply promptly and honestly. I have honestly lost track of the number of mini chats that have resulted in sales, simply by answering a few fit or fabric queries. Man your DM’s people! There are sales just waiting to happen!
I do hope these tips and strategies are as helpful to you as they have been for me. I encourage you to go and check your returns rate over the past 6 months and look for any patterns, customer feedback or information that might be helpful to you and your business moving forward.