Last week I was on a clothing website trying to order some shorts for the summer ( Alberta has literally three months of warm weather so you better believe I’m living my best summer life as much as I possible can from June – August LOL) .
Just one big issue- I’m a super nervous online shopper when it comes to clothes.
Like, palms-are-sweaty, knees-weak, arms-are-heavy type nervous.
Sizing is usually all over the place with different brands and so I don’t usually shop online for clothing unless I absolutely have to!
Any-hooo, I popped onto their shipping and returns section to see what their return policy was like( full disclosure, I wanted to see if I would have to pay for shipping if I had to return the item since shipping costs from Canada are a TOTAL nightmare).
Told you I’m a nervous online shopper. HAHAAA
Turns out, their shipping policy wasn’t clear at ALL. All it talked about was what service they used for shipping and how long you could expect an order to take. Kinda helpful, but not really.
Ten minutes of looking later, I hopped off and actually ended up finding a similar item at another store that allows in store returns ( win win!)
That got me thinking- how many customers are E Commerce businesses likely losing because their website doesn’t clearly describe what their shipping + returns policy is . So I did a little digging.
Turns out….. It could be A LOT.
According to Invesprco.com About 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase.
source : Invespro.com
Also, as a Shopify website designer, I see firsthand that the Shipping and Returns page is usually an afterthought. A lot of newer E-Commerce businesses don’t even think about it till they see it on my checklist of content they have to submit for our website build together!)
Having a clear and easy to access shipping and returns page is often an overlooked area for E-commerce stores that are still growing.
Most times quickly thrown together- however there are many, many benefits to having a well thought out and clear shipping and Returns policy page :
Here’s why YOU NEED A CLEAR SHIPPING AND RETURNS POLICY PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE-
It helps you be transparent with your customers about what they can expect when they shop with you.
Helps you avoid some sticky situations with customers that could hurt your business’s reputation.
It takes away the fear of making the purchase and assures them you have their back even if they aren’t fully happy!
This is a page that will likely change and be adjusted as your business grows or even as you have unforeseen delays/issues come up.
Where to display your shipping and Returns policy page on your website?
IN THE FOOTER-
Shipping + returns info should ALWAYS be easily findable in the footer( It’s where your customers will look first!)
ON YOUR PRODUCT PAGE
Adding a little shipping dropdown to product listings can really help! Unexpected Shipping costs are the #1 factor in cart abandonment
Essentially, you want to your customers to be able to access this at points where they might hesitate to hit that “Buy” button.
What should I put on the Shipping and Returns page for my E-commerce website?
SOME PROMPTS for your Shipping and Returns page :
Do you offer free shipping? If so, how can customers avail of it? What is the order threshold? BONUS : If you do offer free shipping over a certain amount, you should definitely pop it into your announcement bar on the homepage.
How soon do orders ship( Who do you ship through? USPS/FedExetc.) Are there cut off times?
Do Order shipping times include weekdays?
Where can customers find their tracking number?
How do customers check the status of their order?
If you ship internationally, who handles taxes/customs fees?
How does local pickup/delivery work?
What happens if a customer accidentally put in an incorrect shipping address? ( Psst- It’s also a good idea to link your customer service email here!)
Returns and Cancellations :
What happens if an order does not arrived or comes damaged?
How soon after an order being placed do you offer cancellations? Also- for cancellations do customers receive a full refund?
Who pays for shipping for returned orders/exchanges?
What is your return policy on items purchased during a sale?
Do you accept exchanges? If so, do you offer store credit only or full refunds?
Do products have to be in new/unused condition to return or exchanged? Or do you offer 100% satisfaction guarantee on returns or exchanges?
A couple of tips –
I’ve also seen some businesses merge their FAQ and Shipping/ Returns Policy page and that would work too! Alternatively, you can have them as separate pages but put links to each other on each page to make navigation easier.
Break it down into sections so that your customers can easily find what they need. Making your Shipping and Returns page hard to navigate can work against building that trust factor!
Include a customer service email at the bottom that they can reach out to if they have a question that has not been answered!
Hope this was helpful for you and you can hop onto your own website and make quick, effective tweaks to your Shipping and Returns Policy page!