As the holiday season is approaching, it’s time to dust off the old return policy that you are using. And if you’re like most brands, your policy features a holiday return window that allows anything that’s purchased in November and December to be eligible for return into January.

First, let’s understand about the Returns Day. Returns Day is that day of the year, typically right after January 1, that sees a high number of product returns. You can read more about returns day here

Problem with the Standard Holiday Return Window

The holiday season presents a bit of a unique problem for online brands. You want customers to take advantage of your holiday promotions, but you also want them to be able to return items easily after they open their gifts on Christmas.  

In the spirit of generosity, you crafted a return window that allows anything purchased in the holiday months to be returned by a specific date in January. But the truth is that this approach may not be the best option for you or your business.

3 Recommendations to Handle your Holiday Return Window

Let us look at your options to changing the way you approach your holiday return window-

1. A 60-day (or longer) return window all year long

Instead of offering a 60-day return window that’s limited to November and December, extend your return window for the entire year. And you don’t have to stop at 60 days! Some of the most beloved eCommerce brands offer customers an entire year to return their products.

2. A 60-day return window during the holiday months

Let’s say your standard holiday return window ends on January 20. So if a customer purchases something on November 20, the gift recipient has 60 days to return it. Not bad. But let’s say another customer makes a purchase on December 20. That means the gift recipient only has 30 days to make a return – half the amount of time as the first example. 

Instead of this, simply offer a 60-day return window in the holiday months regardless of when the item is purchased. So if a gift is bought on November 20, the recipient has 60 days to return it. If a gift is bought on December 20, the same thing. This relieves pressure off the person receiving the gift.

3. A 60-day window on exchanges and store credit only

Your third option is to apply your generosity only to gift exchanges and store credit – while keeping your policy the same for refunds. 

Most gift recipients want to keep their present, so you don’t have to worry too much about customers asking for their money back. But since 52% of returns on Shopify happen because the customer has the wrong size, you want to make exchanges as easy as possible. 

Offering a more generous return window shows these gift recipients that you want them to have the right product in their hands. This, in turn, will lead to you picking up a new customer who loved their experience with you!

Its time to rethink your holiday return window

It’s time to change things up this holiday season. Instead of defaulting to your standard holiday return window, consider one of the alternatives we offered to give customers the best experience and see better business outcomes – from improved conversions by offering free returns to increased sales. Want to optimize your returns experience in time for the holidays? We would love to help. Just get in touch with us!


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