With the 2022 holiday shopping season underway, it’s time to make sure your return process (and returns solution) are as prepared as possible for the annual surge in order volume.
Since increased sales always leads to increased returns, the retailers who take the time to prepare now (that's you) by adopting best-in-class return policies will come out ahead in today’s competitive macroeconomic climate.
To help you get the proverbial leg-up on your competition, follow these three steps to update everything from your return policy to the way you communicate with your customers about returns.
When was the last time you took a close look at your company’s return policy?
If it’s been a while, review it ASAP to ensure it’s capable of supporting the impending increase in holiday return volume. For example, if you’ve promised to issue refunds within 2-3 business days, can you still guarantee that if your return volume increases significantly?
At Narvar, we’re seeing retailers differentiate themselves through segmented return policies that offer VIP-level service to specific customers. If your return policy doesn't offer this level of flexibility, you risk losing business to competitors with more customer-friendly approaches.
You should extend to shoppers during the holiday season?—An extended return window. Narvar’s 2022 Returns Benchmarks Report found that a large percentage of Fortune 50, omnichannel, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) retailers are offering return windows that go well-beyond 30 days.
Because supply chain challenges and shipping delays are still expected to affect this year’s holiday shopping (Narvar predicts at least 20% of online orders will be delayed), temporarily extending your return window may give customers more confidence that they’ll have ample time to receive, test, and ultimately decide whether or not to return their goods to you.
Just be sure to reset your policy after the holiday season if you don’t intend to keep these and other changes long-term.
You’ll be able to set up these temporary rules for your portal to apply only during the holidays and expire automatically—you just need to update the text on your policy page.
In addition to taking the steps described above, the following recommendations can help you maximize engagement and positive communications throughout the returns journey:
Beyond updating your return policy, look for ways to make shoppers’ lives easier this holiday season. Provide them with extra flexibility during the holiday hustle and bustle:
Returns processing may seem dry, but there are plenty of ways you can delight customers and drive greater ROI by extending seasonal content into your UI.
This holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a notable one for retailers and consumers alike.
Get ahead of the game now by taking the time to revisit your return policy, updating it to reflect current circumstances, and identifying opportunities to delight your shoppers through holiday-specific content.
Currently the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Narvar, helping 1300+ of the world's most-admired brands—including Sephora, Levi's, and L'Oréal—take their post-purchase experiences to new heights. Born and raised in San Francisco, but I've lived all over the world. Previous residences include Seattle, Denver, Santa Monica, Kinsale (Ireland), and Wellington (New Zealand). Writer by trade, football player by passion, and tall by genetic lottery.