Most shoppers review your return policy prior to placing an order. They might be double-checking the return policy, especially during the holiday season, so that unwanted gifts don’t become a burden for the recipient. Extending the returns window may soften the financial blow of Returns Day, but won’t prevent returns from happening. If retailers choose to add flexibility to their return policy for the holidays, they should also implement a strategy to reduce and prevent returns.
Extended Return Window
Many retailers extend the returns and exchanges window for the holidays. This might mean you extend a 30-day return policy to a 90-day window, or you can set a deadline for all holiday orders. For example, starting in November, your holiday return policy could allow returns through the end of January. Setting a clear end to your holiday return policy is important so customers know when their return deadline is.
Most post-holiday returns are related to gift-giving, so specifically mentioning how returned gifts are handled is a smart tactic to reducing questions directed to customer service regarding holiday gift returns. When orders are marked as a gift, consider providing a return receipt or insert with the product about the return policy. While brick and mortar stores typically print their return policy on the receipt, online retailers can get creative with how they inform customers about returns. A creative return policy card can become a powerful piece of branding.
Holiday Return Reasons
If you’re tracking returns analytics, review your return reasons. During the holidays, you may see a spike in return reasons related to gifting such as ‘it didn’t fit,’ ‘I already have this,’ or ‘not my style.’ Saara’s EcoReturns app allows you to easily toggle and customize return reasons that customers can choose within the online returns portal.
Reverse Logistics for Returns
Streamline your returns process to save time for both the consumer and your staff. Organize an area for accepting returns in your warehouse, and implement a standard operating procedure for inspecting returns. Having systems in place is especially helpful if you’re hiring seasonal workers to help manage increased sales and increased returns.