The e-commerce firms should have a sound product return policy in place. There are many players in the e-commerce segment, but only a handful of companies have a return shipping policy, as returns are always a complex issue. There is always a set of dilemmas when it comes to product return policy. How does an e-commerce company handle return parcel? In the absence of a warehouse, where do you store the unwanted products? How do you solve the issue, if your customer wants an exchange when you don't have the merchandise available? If the refund takes many days to process and when your customer gets mad, how do you handle the situation?Shipping cost dilemmaAs a matter of fact, any goods exchanged or returned means, e-commerce firms are under undue pressure to sell more so that they can make the loss good. Any kind of return of goods means unnecessary financial stress on the e-commerce business, while retailers do not have the additional burden of shipping costs. It is always been debated as to who will pay for the shipping costs for online returns in the e-commerce segment.
In order to address this contentious issue, many online firms are forming partnerships to launch various programs. Recently, Clarus Marketing Group had forged an alliance with FedEx to introduce a reduced-cost return-shipping program, Return Saver. Tom Caporaso, CEO, Clarus Marketing Group says that the question of who pays the shipping costs for online returns has long been a point of contention in the e-commerce horizon. According to him, a lot of people could not give (return shipping) away for free, not even many top 500 companies.Quoting Caporaso, a Business News Daily report said that given the hassle and costs associated with returns, it might as well be tempting just say that you won't do it. The daily report said ‘A no returns, period policy’ is not going to fly with customers who expect top-notch service and convenience, but e-commerce businesses may not have the ability to accept all returns, for any reason.PolicyCaporaso agreed that to address these and other issues that may arise, the top priority for e-commerce businesses regarding returns should be to have a crystal-clear policy in place that's easy for customers to find, understand and reference. Caporaso said free return shipping is great leverage when people are looking to make a purchase online. It comes at a cost (a good customer experience) justifies that cost.The report quoted Nicole Bandklayder, Co-founder of online jewelry retailer Bijouxx Jewels as saying that with any small business, you want to do your best to make customers happy with your product. Returns and exchanges mean, we are under pressure to sell more so that we make for the funds that were allocated toward our payroll and our costs, he pointed out.He said that when a company starts allowing people to return a product because they changed their mind or don't like the product, it can become a problem. Write up a return policy that works for you, and make sure it is clear on your website. Remember, this is your business, therefore you make the rules when it comes to returns, he added.