Sweat The Small Stuff #1: Returns Page

February 21, 2019

“Don’t sweat the small stuff”, they say. But when it comes to selling, you should sweat it.

Because the small stuff can make a BIG difference.

Let’s look at some “unimportant” parts of your e-commerce website and show you how small copy tweaks can increase your conversion rate - sometimes radically.


Think about it. When you want to buy something from anyone other than Amazon, what do you check first? The return policy.

That means your return policy should be:

  • Reasonable
  • Presented in a clear and straightforward manner

There are always people who abuse return policies. So it can be tempting for e-commerce sellers to try and eliminate returns altogether by making customers jump through hoops. But that’s a bad idea. No one’s gonna trust you if you don’t offer an easy way to return. Of course, your policy should be structured in a way to prevent abuse. But whatever policy you create, be clear about it.

Because the best way to convince a hesitant customer to make that click is by showing them exactly what will happen if they're unhappy and want to return the product.

Did You Know?

  • More than 50% of online shoppers avoid stores with a strict return policy.
  • 95% of shoppers will make another purchase if they had an easy return experience with a company.

In other words - the return experience can be even more important that how good your product is!

In fact, customers who have a bad experience that is handled well become MORE loyal to the company (!!!). Why? Because when you help them through a difficult experience and make it pleasant, you build a personal relationship with them. So the next time they need to purchase a product you carry, they’ll think, “Hey, that company is so nice. I’m gonna buy it from them.”

So first, hash out your return policy. Then, write it out in good, clear copy that shows:

- You’re human

- You care

- You understand the frustrations of an unsatisfactory purchase

Here’s the first step to doing that: USE. PLAIN. ENGLISH. Don't be a fun brand that regresses to legalese on your returns page. It’s one of the most frequently visited pages on your site. So make it easy and friendly and on brand! Because in the shopper’s mind, difficult to read = difficult to do. And that’s the last thing you want them thinking.

Now, I'm a little sad.

I searched long and hard to find display-worthy returns pages. I found very, very few. The good news? This means YOU can wow your customer with a customized, personality-filled, clear and friendly returns page. How exactly do you write that returns policy? Let’s dive in.

  1. Be Human
  2. Don't turn into the "strict teacher" on the returns page. ESPECIALLY if you can’t offer a liberal return policy, make it fun to read. Use some self-depreciating humor. Show your customers that you care about them.
  3. Toss the scary stuff
  4. Replace “must” and “you are required” with “should” and “please”. And phrases like Adhering to Policy, Under Any Circumstance, and Sole Discretion? They have no legal validity, so leave them out. Say what you need to say, but say it nicely.
  5. Be detailed
  6. Confusion is a big no-no anywhere on your site. So make sure to address all common questions your customer may have - an FAQ style can work really well here.

Below are some samples of well done returns pages with the best features highlighted:

And to finish off, a brand that got it perfect by being honest, open and human:

Want to bring your brand to life?

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Chavy Helfgott © 2023