Fashion online sales continue to increase and at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned in comparison to 9% in brick-and-mortar stores. Therefore, it is essential to develop a healthy return policy that will keep your bank account and the customer happy. What are some the latest ideas of fashion retailers and the key considerations?
Focus on the speed
The recent attempt by Zara proves it is all about the getting quicker. With its new pop-up opening in London this May, customers will have an opportunity to pick up their orders the same day and returns or exchange styles on the spot. It appears that the return process shall become swift and comfy as clients expect to be able to make an immediate decision instead of waiting for weeks for payments to be reimbursed.
Trust your client but stay cautious
Some retailers offer longer or even unlimited time period for making the return. Like in the case of Nordstorm that puts no time constraints on its clients and accepts returns without the tags, it is about the mutual trust between the customer and the brand. Though the policy can be overused, extending the return period shall allow clients to make even more conscious fashion choices. Examine the product and think if it can be subject to trends (particularly important in fashion) – if you’re putting up a capsule, limited-edition collection on sale, it is advisable to shorten the return time. Longer return periods can be applied to products that are longer-lived such as accessories.
Apparently, clients tend to get daunted when given ‘store credits’ or ‘exchange only’ as options instead of a full refund. The other problem emerges with the question – who shall cover the return? Offering free returns is definitely a plus, however, if it is the client who shall cover the cost, make that very clear in your return policy.