Finding a Return Policy

As retailers battle for market share, return policies become an important issue. What do you do with the customer who returns an empty bottle of facial cream? How does one increase purchases without increasing returns?

Researchers at the University of Texas conducted a meta-study of 21 journal articles about return policies. The secret? Actually, the five secrets involved some sensible results. Time parameters when items may be returned can be 30 days or less. Charging a restocking fee is another way to discourage excessive returns. Configuring a policy about sale or clearance item returns is helpful. Offering store credit rather than cash back is another acceptable option.

Lenient return policies encourage sales, but the return ratio is excessive and far outweighs the increase in sales. By far, the study found that well published return policies with clear parameters reduces returns while still allowing legitimate returns.

Finally, offering sample sizes in kits or as give-aways with purchase is a great solution for personal care items. By far, kits of sample or travel sized products are excellent sellers and cover the issue of a product not suiting one’s needs.

With spa services, the same theory holds true. New clients can experience a 30 minute massage or an express facial. Trying out treatments at a lesser price ensures that the client will get a feel for the modalities offered at your facility at a lower price point to determine their service preferences.

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