How to Optimize Your Swimwear Returns Policy for Swimsuit Season
With summertime reserved for unwinding under the sun and visits to local beaches, shoppers are committed to finding the best-fitting swimsuits in order to feel confident and comfortable. Whether they’re lounging poolside or throwing down in a game of beach volleyball, buyers are also searching for the right swimsuit to amplify their photo-worthy, summertime look.
The quest for the perfect swimsuit often comes at a cost for merchants, as a tsunami of swimwear returns make their way back during this busy, water-soaked season. According to research by Statista, the return rate for swimwear can be as high as 40% due to fit and style preferences. That means nearly half of all swimsuits bought online are later returned.
Ecommerce has changed the way consumers shop. When shopping for swimwear, it’s expected that not all swimsuits will match buyers’ expectations. Therefore multiple swimsuit sizes and styles are often ordered — and returned. This makes easy-to-understand, convenient returns policies crucial for making purchase decisions.
But, how do you create a returns policy that encourages customers to make a purchase without jeopardizing profits? In this article, we give you the tips you need to optimize your swimwear returns policy and turn your ecommerce store into the brand of choice this swimsuit season.
Importance of a Customer-Friendly Returns Policy
A customer-friendly return policy can significantly impact customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat purchases. It can also differentiate a brand from competitors and attract more customers. In the age of social media and online reviews, a lenient return policy can make a significant difference in a brand’s reputation.
Imagine you had a customer order your most popular swimsuit. When it arrives, she realizes she got a size too big, and the top piece was too loose to wear in the water. Thanks to your customer-friendly returns policy, she’s able to quickly exchange the swimsuit for a new one in a size that fits her better.
The process was quick and convenient, and she receives the new swimsuit just in time for her trip. She takes a million pictures and posts them all online for her friends to see. She tags your company on Instagram to let everyone know where she got the great swimsuit and posts a review on your website recounting the story of the positive return experience.
Had there been no returns policy or automated returns management in place, she would not have received a replacement in time. Your brand missed the opportunity to be showcased in amazing product pictures and your company wouldn’t get the recognition for saving the day.
A lenient returns policy can differentiate your brand from competitors and attract more customers. Social media and online reviews can also influence a brand’s reputation. A study by Bright Local found that 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 91% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase.
Having a customer-friendly returns policy could be the difference between increased sales this swimsuit season, or all of your customers going to your competitors.
Tips for Optimizing Your Returns Policy for Swimsuit Season
What makes a good returns policy? We have a few resources you could check out on how to optimize your ecommerce returns policy, but we’ve also outlined a few that pertain to swimwear in particular here:
- Extended Return Window: Extending the return window specifically for swimwear purchases allows customers enough time to try on and decide whether they want to keep the product. A longer return window can reduce customer anxiety and increase trust in the brand. The recommended time frame for a return window is at least 30 days for swimwear, considering shipping times and potential delays.
- Free Return Shipping: Considering the low cost of swimwear, customers may be hesitant to pay for return shipping. Offering to cover the cost eliminates this as an obstacle for purchase, knowing that they can return it without additional costs. Retailers can offer free return shipping by providing prepaid return labels or partnering with a shipping provider.
- Simplified Returns Process: The return process for swimwear should be simple and easy for customers. Retailers can minimize the steps and requirements by using a user-friendly online returns portal that automates most of the process. Offering multiple return options can also accommodate different customer preferences.
- Clear Communication: Communicate the swimwear returns policy clearly on the website, product pages, and checkout process. Hygiene is important for swimwear returns, so clear guidelines on wear and item condition should be provided. Detailed information about the return window, return shipping, and return process should be included to avoid any confusion or frustration.
- Fit & Sizing Guides: Finding the right fit for swimwear is challenging and heavily contributes to returns. Reduce returns due to fit issues by implementing fit and sizing guides on your website. Include accurate and informative fit and sizing guides, such as measurements, diagrams, and product images with models or customers wearing the swimwear.
Examples of Great Swimwear Returns Policies
Now that you know what to do to optimize your returns policy for swimwear season, let’s look at a few examples of what a good swimsuit returns policy looks like:
- American Eagle’s swimsuit returns policy offers an extended returns window of 60 days, free shipping on returns, and the option to return by mail or in-store. You even get a pre-printed label with your original shipment to make the returns process simple.
- Target’s swimsuit returns policy offers a 90-day returns policy for swimwear, including online purchases. Customers can return their swimwear to a store or use the prepaid return label for online returns.
- Shein’s swimsuit returns policy allows customers to return swimwear within 45 days of receiving the item, i15 days longer than their typical returns window. The policy includes free return shipping for all orders. Customers can return their swimwear for a refund or exchange.
- Breakout Bras swimwear returns policy allows customers to return unused, unworn, and unwashed items within 30 days of purchase. The company offers free return shipping with a pre-paid shipping label for a refund or exchange. They also offer a Fit Guarantee program for bras, where customers have the opportunity to exchange any bra for a better fit within 90 days of purchase.
Update Your Swimwear Returns Policy with ReturnLogic
It’s clear. Having an optimized returns policy is essential for swimwear merchants who want to capitalize on the summer season. A good returns policy enhances customer satisfaction, boosts brand reputation, and increases sales.
Not having one is like handing your customers straight over to your competitors.
There are steps you can take to optimize your swimwear returns policy, like offering an extended returns window or including a pre-paid shipping label with the original purchase to simplify returns.
It’s important to make sure that you build a swimsuit returns policy that’s customer-friendly but not so friendly that your rate of returns outpaces sales. It’s a tricky balance. One that we’ve spent the better part of a decade mastering.
To gain more tips on how to optimize your returns policy or to get 1:1 feedback on how your returns are currently managed, book a free demo with us today!
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