April 1, 2020

How to Offer Free Return Shipping on Your Ecommerce Site | Two Minute Tuesdays

Hi, everybody! My name’s Matt, and I’m the
Social Media Manager here at Volusion. Welcome to Two Minute Tuesdays, where we give you
two minutes of ecommerce advice to bolster your online success. A really popular promotion these days is to
offer free return shipping on your ecommerce site. Coined by big names like Amazon and
Zappos, it’s really caught on, and now the pressure is on for you to consider offering
the same. So keep these five tips in mind, because I’m going to show you how to effectively
offer free return shipping on your site. The first thing you want to do, and this is
true for any discount or promotion, is to figure out your risk and calculate potential
costs. With free return shipping, it’s important to take an aggregate look at all of the returns
that you’ve had over the year. What percentage of orders end up with returns? Next, figure
out how much it’s going to cost for you to actually have the shipping involved with those
returns. Make sure that you can account for those, and you’ll be in good shape. Secondly, once you have all of your costs
figured out, set parameters on your free return shipping policy. For example, how long does
your customer have to send back their order? Do they have 30 days, 60 days, 90 days – more
or less? Are there certain items that can’t be returned, such as undergarments or heavy
refrigerators that cost a ton of money for you to ship? Get everything in writing. Make
sure those parameters are set. It will definitely save you money in the long term. Number three, once you have all your parameters
set up, you need to go ahead and update your return policy. Make sure all the fine print
is listed there and make sure that your return policy is easily accessible to anyone visiting
your site. Number four, and this is a matter of logistics,
but you need to figure out whether or not you’re going to offer printed or digital return
labels. To make things easier for your customers, you want to provide the option for them to
slap a label on the box and send it back to you for free. Common practice is to have printed
labels included in the order so they can do it easily. But rising in popularity are digital
labels where you provide a link, your customers go to that website, print a label out and
then they put it on the box themselves. Either way is fine; just make that decision ahead
of time. And last, but definitely not least, since
you’ve gone through all the work of getting everything in order for your free return shipping,
promote the heck out of this offer. Free return shipping is a great way to boost conversions,
especially during the holiday season. Use your email marketing, use your social media,
even put a call out on your website and let your customers know that free return shipping
is available. Keep these tips in mind when you’re deciding
whether or not you should offer free return shipping on your site. If you have any questions,
just let me know. Leave a comment in the box below and I’ll get right back to you. From me to you, happy selling!

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