Create Smarter Return Policies

New research  shows that offering a lenient  return  policy can increase the number of items  purchased more than it increases the number of items returned. But in the real world, most companies impose  restrictions to try to prevent too many returns. This is understandable, but companies should take a more balanced  approach and be selectively  lenient (or restrictive). Here are a few strategies that work:

  • Be selectively lenient based on cause of the return. For example, Gap has a return policy of 45 days for any exchange but offers an unrestricted return policy for all defective products.
  • Be selectively lenient based on time. Neiman Marcus offers 100% money back for returns less than 60 days after purchase, 75% back for 60–120 days after purchase, and so on.
  • Be selectively lenient for your most important customers. Sam’s Club requires a receipt for nonmembers but not for members.

*Source: Harvard Business School’s Management Tip of the Day
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