Creating an e-commerce returns policy

Creating an e-commerce returns policy

A comprehensive returns policy is imperative for every e-commerce business. It is not only good practice, but it provides customers with confidence and demonstrates your business’ commitment to customer service.

A solid returns policy will ensure the returns process is professional, reduce the time and money spent on returns and keep your customers satisfied.

Here are five tips to consider when designing your e-commerce returns policy:

Avoid legal jargon
Your returns policy needs to be easy simple and easy to understand. It is best to avoid legal jargon and complex terms. Instead use plain English and terms that everyone can understand.

Ensure accurate product descriptions/images
To avoid customer disappointment, it is critical that your site displays accurate product descriptions and photography. Use 360-degree view of the items you sell alongside informative descriptions of products/services.

Keep the policy front and centre
The returns policy should be posted on everything including your website, receipts, emails and even packaging so customers have every opportunity to review the policy.

Highlight timeframe for returns
State the time frame in which customers must return the product, i.e. 30, 60 or 90 days from purchase. For goods that are damaged or malfunctioning, there may be a shorter time frame.

Exchange, credit, cash?
The policy must state the customer’s options to receive a store credit, exchange or a cash return for items. Businesses have flexibility in these preferences, for example, a full refund does not have to be provided. However, every effort should be taken to replace an item or provide a refund without incurring any costs for the customer.


If you believe the matters discussed above are relevant to your business, please contact Darren Smith of our office to discuss further.

Darren is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience, including working in the big 4 and medium sized firms before becoming a partner of a city based firm in 2000.

He has gained much experience and has extensive knowledge in providing business and taxation advice, superannuation planning, negotiation of sales and acquisitions of businesses and property development. His client base covers a wide range of industry groups.

Darren works with business owners to grow their businesses and create personal wealth within and outside of their business.

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