Product returns are an inevitable part of your business. Despite all the efforts you will make to describe your items accurately or to make sure your customers choose the right size/model, you will always have to deal with it. And in this context, it is impossible to ignore a well-thought-out return policy!

To avoid returns from harming your profitability or brand image, you must be as accommodating and flexible as possible. Don't forget that 6 out of 10 customers will read your terms and conditions of sale and return before placing their order online.

But don't worry, you don't need to reinvent the wheel! We've broken down 10 inspiring examples of successful product return policies for you. And as a bonus, we've revealed our tips for adapting them to your business!

1. Asphalte's excellent product return policy

Asphalte's returns policy

Launched less than 5 years ago, the online store for men Asphalte is not only known for its best-seller, the perfect sweater. It also goes to great lengths to accommodate its customers and simplify their product return. 

What's unique about the brand? It sends a courier to pick up the product to be exchanged or returned directly to the customer's home (or workplace). This way, the customer avoids going to the carrier to return the item and saves a lot of time! However, this innovative service is only available to Parisians and residents of the inner suburbs.

💡 Bigblue's advice

The Asphalt strategy is an excellent initiative to be imitated if you also evolve in the clothing sector (where returns are more numerous) to amortize your investment. 

2. Tediber: simplifying product returns, even for bulky items

Tedibear's returns policy

Delivery, but also managing returns of bulky products like mattresses is not easy. All the more reason to be inspired by the policy of Tediber, the French brand of sleep essentials. 

The merchant gives its customers 100 nights (instead of the mandatory 14 days) to choose whether or not they want to keep their mattress. Moreover, Tediber also simplifies the product return by making an appointment with its teams to organize its collection at their home. 

💡 Bigblue's advice

Do what Tediber does: make sure that the products you will take back for free and at home are in good condition. The brand asks its customers to send photos of the mattress or box spring purchased on the site before validating the refund request. Another good practice you can learn from: the returned products are reconditioned and donated to associations. 

3. Adidas: changing sizes without the headache

Adidas' returns policy

After analyzing in detail the main reasons for product returns mentioned by its customers, Adidas has put in place a policy that precisely addresses the main problem encountered. Namely, the difficulty of choosing the correct shoe size!

As a result of the operation, the brand simplifies the size exchange, notably by not asking the customer to print his return label. Other strong points to note: Adidas has created a platform dedicated to tracking orders and managing returns. This is an excellent way to preserve its brand identity and to give the consumer confidence. Consumers can track their status at every stage and are refunded in less than a week. 

💡 Bigblue's advice

Do like Adidas and be proactive! To keep returns to a minimum, the brand gives accurate sizing advice. For example, Adidas indicates which models fit small and suggests the correct size based on the pairs the customer usually buys.

4. Zalando: send back your article in the same package

Zalando's returns policy

The online fashion brand Zalando makes returns as simple as possible to prevent them from being perceived as an obstacle for the consumer. In particular, by allowing them to return the products in the same packaging. But also by providing the necessary scotch tape to close it! The orders are shipped in less than 48 hours, and everything is smooth for the customer. This encourages them to repeat the operation over and over again!

💡 Bigblue's advice

To boost your sales, you need to remove the barriers to purchase that your customers may have online. Zalando, for example, offers them to order their items, try them on at home, and pay only if they fit or like them. But beware - the flip side of this is that there may also be more return requests. 

5. Sézane's product return management

Sézane's returns policy

Like all online stores specialized in clothing, Sézane had no choice but to consolidate its product return policy. Even if they don’t do much more than the legal time limit on the right of withdrawal (15 days instead of the 14 required by European law), the brand offers customers the possibility to return their items directly in-store (when applicable). 

💡 Bigblue's advice

Simplify the return process as much as possible, making the work easier for your customers. For example, Sézane provides the return label in the package and refunds the order in less than 10 working days! 

6. Asos: avoid returns abuses

Asos' returns policy

When it comes to managing returns, it's good to be generous but not too generous. The giant Asos has been a victim of its own success (and multiple requests for product returns) and has had to adopt a new policy. The e-retailer now allows items to be returned 45 days after the order. But after 28 days, the customer will receive a voucher for the same amount instead of a refund. 

The brand has also set up a blacklist of customers with too many return requests (using an algorithm system). And has added large, flashy tags that can't be removed to prevent returned pieces from being worn. 

💡 Bigblue's advice.

Be flexible with your customers, but be careful not to jeopardize your profitability! Think about what actions will generate the most satisfaction while minimizing your operating margin.

7. Allbirds: transparent return management

Allbirds' returns policy

The clothing brand Allbirds is also one of the good students in terms of product return management. In particular, it is transparent about return conditions (30 days without having to justify its request) and order status (with automatic notifications at each step. 

💡 Bigblue's advice

Don't hesitate to take a cue from Allbirds in terms of returns. These are free (online and in-store). And the customer can also choose the carrier of their choice to pick up the package at their home! An excellent way to boost satisfaction and maximize your chances of retaining your customers.

8. Caval: reconverting customers who wish to return items

Caval's returns policy

The Caval brand has also carefully thought out its return policy, in particular, to maximize customer loyalty and avoid cutting into its margins. 

Returned products can be refunded within 30 days. But past this delay, and rather than losing a customer, the brand offers them store credit to use the site! 

💡 Bigblue's advice

Caval's approach is a great way to keep the customer from turning to the competition. But also to win back a potentially unhappy consumer!

9. Amazon marketplace product return: a detailed and flexible return policy

Amazon's returns policy

Amazon is known for having one of the friendliest product return policies in the e-commerce world. In particular, we recommend that you use it to:

  • Make return and refund information easily accessible.  Amazon has a dedicated area on its site, where consumers can browse a considerable amount of resources and find answers to almost any question they have;
  • Offer quick and easy returns. When users click on the "Returns and Replacements" link, Amazon gives them an accurate step-by-step overview of the process. The e-commerce giant also guarantees that they won't have to contact support for the most straightforward requests;
  • Define a reasonable refund policy. To build customer loyalty and improve their experience, Amazon is making its conditions more flexible. Refunds vary depending on the state of the item, the time it took to place the order, and the method of purchase used;
  • Assume full responsibility (even for third-party sellers). The A to Z guarantee protects the platform's customers, even for a product purchased from a third-party seller;
  • Think in terms of customer satisfaction (and retention). An unpleasant product return experience automatically affects retention rates. Amazon ensures that even unhappy consumers continue to order from the site by making it as simple as possible!

10. Jimmy fairly

Jimmy Fairly's returns policy

To facilitate the return of its products, the eyewear manufacturer Jimmy Fairly has created a dedicated portal. This "return portal" allows the customer to enter their order number and organize its forwarding via Colissimo. The procedure remains available on the website to keep the user on the platform and offer them a branded, more qualitative experience. 

To simplify things, returns are also possible in-store (within 30 days) and from abroad!

💡 Bigblue's final tip.

The simplicity and transparency you facilitate product returns on your online store will have a powerful, persuasive effect on your future customers. Your policy will encourage them to validate their cart since if they need to, it will be easy for them to return their order and get a refund. 

Among the good practices, we have just presented, remember to :

  • Refund your customers as quickly as possible. This will have a considerable impact on the quality of their experience (and will allow them to be retrained);
  • Communicate as effectively as possible in the event of a return request. Good customer service avoids frustration and the damage an unhappy customer can do to your brand!

Bigblue recently launched a returns management portal to simplify things for e-commerce brands. A branded returns portal to offer a seamless and hassle-free experience for their customers. Want to know more? Get in touch with our team for a demo.

Bigblue's returns portal