How your return policy can influence buyers and reviews

Recently we ordered some products from a Shopify store and used their sizing charts to figure out which would fit. Problem was, when the products came the sizes were so off they were useless. We ended up having to re-order (multiple times) to get the right size.

While it was frustrating to have to wait for a re-shipments, the company had a process in place for the returns and replacement so we were only out for the waiting time.

Looking back, I suspect their sizing chart and advice to "size-up" was the source of the problem. Different products were different sizes and so one universal chart and advice didn't apply equally to every product.

Due to the experience we won't go recommending their products but we also won't go bashing them either (or leaving negative reviews). The experience turned a long-term positive relationship into a negative one dealing with the wrong sizes, and back to a neutral one from their replacement process.

Contrast that to a number of companies who have actively hostile processes where we will/have steered potential customers away. Think about your own experience with cell phone companies, internet providers, or anything medical in the US.

Your store's return/replacement policy won't attract customers alone but it can reduce their risk of buying from you. If a new customer knows you'll make things right then they're willing to give your store a chance. Worst case, the policies can convert negative experiences (and reviews) into neutral ones.

That's why highlighting flexible and generous policies in your sales copy and abandoned carts can work so well for conversions.

Giving customers a chance to try the product before they buy is why free samples can help to attract someone. That's partially why Repeat Customer Insights includes a free trial. I want people to give it a try and see how it can help their Shopify store.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Customer behavior

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