santahatFor many businesses with an ecommerce offering (particularly business to consumer), we are heading into the busiest time of year. According to a poll by Which Magazine, 67% of people did at least some of their Christmas shopping online last year. This year is likely to see that figure rise, however there is one benefit that buying in the shops has over its online counterpart: the ease at which items can be returned!

Make it easy

One of the main concerns for consumers buying gifts online is the potential daunting task of having to return a gift if it is not suitable, faulty, or doesn’t fit. Here are 3 simple tips to reinstall confidence and make it easier for consumers to make that all important purchase.

  • Free Delivery – Offering free delivery can spark huge rises in conversion rates – it is one of the most prolific positive factors. Many site owners claim that the increased returns around the Christmas period could be crippling to profits if they are expected to foot the delivery bill. In accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations 2000, the retailer is required to reimburse the cost of the initial delivery in the event of a return anyway. Therefore as a retailer you will have to pay for the first delivery if the item is returned, so you might as well maximise conversion rates by offering free delivery for a limited period of time.
  • Extend Returns Policy– The key to selling online over Christmas is to make it as easy as possible for people to return items. Yes this may generate more work for you the retailer, but if consumers are not confident that it will be easy to return an item, they simply will not buy. Distance Selling Regulations offer the consumer 7 days to return an item, or at least state their intention to return the item. Many bricks and mortar shops will offer an extended returns period over Christmas, so why not do the same? Offering an extended return will give consumers peace of mind and that extra confidence they need to purchase online. Click the image below to see exactly how Marks & Spencers has implemented this policy:
m&srefundspolicy
  • Make Your Returns Policy Clear – Again the key here is to give consumers the confidence that returning an item is not going to be a ball ache. Clearly linking to your returns policy at every stage of the buying cycle will portray the message to consumers that you are trying to make it as easy as possible for them to return any unwanted items and give them the confidence they need. If you are going to offer an extended returns policy, you should be shouting about this on your site. Make it bold and clear, create CTA’s & banners: this is reason to buy from you and not your competitor so tell the world!