3 easy ways to improve your returns experience for shoppers

We know a great returns experience starts before a shopper makes their first purchase with your brand. 86% of shoppers look at a company’s return policy¹ before even deciding to complete that purchase which is why it’s critical to clearly communicate your return policy throughout the shopper journey.

We’ve been helping merchants to optimize their returns programs for years, and here are our top three best practices for designing a seamless return experience that can be accomplished in five days or less.


1. Ensure all roads lead to your return policy

The most common places shoppers expect to find your return policy is in your homepage footer, product detail page, order confirmation, and shipping confirmation emails, and packing slips. Every shopper may look in a different place, so keep all of your bases covered to ensure a smooth experience. 

2. Write a return policy that people can comprehend

The number one mistake brands make when communicating a return policy is burying it within paragraphs of fine print. Breaking up those important details with clear section headers makes it easier for shoppers to scan the page and still pick up on the most essential parts of your policy.  An organized and streamlined return policy page will help limit confusion and unnecessary back-and-forth with your customer service team down the road.

As someone who speaks to merchants every day about returns strategies, I know it’s possible to structure a creative returns pricing approach that strikes a healthy balance between delighting shoppers and minimizing costs. 

3. Make it easy to start a return or exchange

Returns don't have to be a frustrating experience for your shoppers. Make it easier for them to initiate the process by clearly indicating where they can click to get started right away (extra points if that button is at the top of your return policy page).


Return experience superstars

Teammates from our Customer Success team each picked a Happy Returns partner that has successfully put these tips into practice.  

Vanessa Nguyen

Vanessa’s pick: Swim Outlet

It’s important to keep the returns process simple to help shoppers stay happy and loyal when their original purchase doesn’t work out. One of the simplest ways to do this is by having a clear returns policy that’s easy to read! Swim Outlet does a great job with this.”

-Vanessa Nguyen, Customer Success Manager

What they do well:

  • Their Returns page provides a clear call to action to start a return at the top of the page

  • Providing more than one return method can be confusing for shoppers, but Swim Outlet clearly and effectively explains the difference between Mail and Return Bars

  • Their Return Policy is explained in a succinct and easy-to-understand way that we know shoppers will appreciate   

Jonathan Tith

Jonathan’s pick: American Giant

“When shoppers are looking for return policy information, one of the first places they’ll search through is your FAQs page. Make the most of their click by having your return policy section displayed in a bold way, with a hyperlink to ‘ Start a Return’ front and center.”

 -Jonathan Tith, Customer Success Manager

What they do well:

  • The Returns FAQ page displays a bold, clear, hard-to-miss call to action to start a return at the top of the page.

  • Their FAQs are expandable, making the questions on the page easily scannable to quickly find the details you’re looking for without getting lost.

  • We love that their most common question ‘How do I return/exchange my order?’ is highlighted in yellow, drawing the reader to click there first.

Jason Wu

Jason’s pick: PinkBlush Maternity

“Don’t bury the information for your shoppers. What’s great about PinkBlush’s approach is that their policy rules are written succinctly; they’ve used line breaks and bullet points for easier reading.”

-Jason Wu, Senior Manager, Customer Success

What they do well:

  • Their Return Policy page clearly states the retailer’s policy at the very top of the page.

  • The call to action of ‘Start Return’ and their FAQs are all succinctly displayed near the top of the page.

  • They use short, bulleted information making the FAQs very easy to scan and understand.


Get started today!

Want to improve your return experience, but not sure where to start? Reach out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager for more tips and support

¹Source: National Retail Federation, January 2022

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.


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