How to set a return policy that works for the customer and you

SAM KLIGER | April 30, 2018

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A store's return policy is an important part of your overall approach to customer service, but it's not as simple as making your guidelines strict or lenient. Return policies are very specific to your brand and what you're looking to accomplish there is no one-size-fits-all strategy.In general, brands that are focused on gross margin dollars and profit will have a stricter return policy. The reality is, return fraud is rampant, and according to the NRF, returns cost retailers $260 billion in 2015. Mature brands who already have a passionate consumer base, like Hermes or Forever 21, have the luxury to offer exchange-only policies.For emerging brands, it's not as cut and dry. Many default to stricter policies whether it's exchange only, limited return windows, receipt requirements as a necessity for short-term survival. They simply can't afford to have a lenient policy. But newer brands that are trying to establish strong relationships with its customers may ease their policies to earn this loyalty. These business models prioritize customer acquisition and the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and the power of good customer service to boost the bottom line. Brands that are focused on a happier consumer base, loyalty, and retention tend to have more lenient return policies. Think Zappos (free shipping), Nordstrom (no receipt necessary), and Ikea (365 days to return). All those brands boast a strong emotional connection with its shoppers.

Spotlight

Shoptiques.com

Shoptiques.com lets you shop the world's best local boutiques online. In the past, if you lived in Dallas and wanted to shop a small boutique in New York or LA or even Paris, you had to buy a plane ticket. They simply weren't online, and if they were, there was no way to find them. We've brought them online—and created a destination that connects savvy shoppers with hundreds of hand-picked boutiques across the globe. Shoptiques is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, Benchmark, William Morris Endeavor Talent Agency among others.

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Spotlight

Shoptiques.com

Shoptiques.com lets you shop the world's best local boutiques online. In the past, if you lived in Dallas and wanted to shop a small boutique in New York or LA or even Paris, you had to buy a plane ticket. They simply weren't online, and if they were, there was no way to find them. We've brought them online—and created a destination that connects savvy shoppers with hundreds of hand-picked boutiques across the globe. Shoptiques is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, Benchmark, William Morris Endeavor Talent Agency among others.

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