Why Does the Product Return Policy Matter in E-commerce?

Having a well-defined product return policy is the best guarantee to ensure smooth processes and without discrepancies with customers.

Currently, the return of products is an element fully established in traditional and virtual commerce . However, in the case of e-commerce , it is an aspect that still generates doubts and a certain distance both in customers and in businesses. To avoid this, it is best to have a specific product return policy that responds efficiently to possible demands that may arise. 

Keys to define the product return policy in a virtual store

Consumers expect that, when buying most products, they have the possibility of returning them if they arrive defective or if they simply change their mind about the purchase. Due to the particularities that electronic commerce presents , it is very important to have a well-defined product return policy that guarantees the resolution of possible conflicts if they occur.

Some of the most important keys to define the product return policy in a virtual store are the following. 

Define product return deadlines

One of the most important aspects that must be defined in any product return policy are the terms in which said return can be made. In some cases, you can find terms ranging from 15 days, but in others, you can be talking about terms of 2 years. Depending on the case of each product, it is very important that it is duly registered at the time of purchase , since it will determine how long the return can be made or not, since the reference value to calculate it will be the execution of the purchase or the moment of receipt of the order. Whatever it is, this information must be in the possession of the buyer from the moment the purchase is made.

Define the return process 

Just as it is essential to correctly define the return deadlines, so is the return process. Depending on the case, the same selling company may be in charge of managing the return, which in the case of a virtual store must include the collection of the product and its subsequent logistics management until it reaches the warehouse again . But it may also be the case that the customer has to be the one who takes care of forwarding the product , so greater responsibility and cooperation will be expected from him. This, as well as all the elements related to the return process protocol, must be well defined in the return policy. 

Information regarding shipping costs

Beyond the return process itself, one of the most important aspects is who pays the costs of the return shipment . Depending on the case, these expenses may be borne by both the seller and the buyer. Likewise, depending on the reasons for return, the expenses may correspond to one or the other. All this information must be well defined in the company’s product return policy, since it will be one of the most delicate points that will have to be dealt with during a return process. 

Define the responsibility of the manufacturer and the seller

Another element that must be correctly explained in the e-commerce product return policy is how far the responsibility of both the manufacturer and the seller of the product reaches. This information is important when demanding a refund or a return since, if the end consumer is the one who misuses the product , it is possible that neither the manufacturer nor the seller have an obligation to accept the return of the product. 

Write the product return policy in an accessible way

Finally, another key that must be taken into account when making a product return policy for an online store is that said policy is written in a way that is easily accessible by anyone and, above all, that it is not can be interpreted in various ways. In other words, be very specific and avoid any kind of ambiguity . In this way, it will be a reference document that offers clear guarantees when determining how the product return processes are carried out and, in the case of a dispute with a client, it will allow to solve it with a specific reference and with legal validity. 

Conclusion

In this way, the company ensures that it offers a benchmark that helps (both customers and the company itself) to have a well-defined and easy-to-address return policy. Which translates into much more satisfied customers and much more fluid return processes.

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