In the mood of “forties are the new thirties”, here comes the Free Return process, which seems to be a much more interesting leverage than Free Shipping nowadays.
This might be due to a simple numerical reason: while online shops generally manage tons of shipments, and can therefore take advantage of lower shipping prices, return shipping is generally upon customers’ expense.
Also, a Free Return banner in the product page has proved to be a good trick to increase the shop’s conversion rate.
The one objection usually made to this procedure is that it risks to increase the return rate. The big question is: should I
A) Help my customers to get the most hassle-free and smooth shopping experience (and so, offer them free, easy procedures)
B) Increase sales in my shop by using non transparent procedures such as hiding the contact number, creating a complicated return process, etc?
Option A is good if you wish to invest on building customer loyalty. It pays back in the long run.
Option B is good if you wish to boost your sales and then fly to the Bahamas. Freddy Mercury used to say “Take the money and run”. Yes, it’s something like that.
In conclusion: dear eCommerce manager, please, make your shop stand out of the crowd and help us making the internet a better place. If you give freedom to your customers, they will give you loyalty in return.