Jewelry presents several challenges when it comes to crafting a return policy. To create a returns experience that both you and your customers will love, it’s critical to craft a policy that aligns with your brand. In this post, we share strategies to help you achieve this alignment.
The challenge of creating a return policy for jewelry brands
When it comes to jewelry, there are a few factors that create complexity for brands that are trying to craft a return policy.
Value. When it comes to jewelry, the price tag can vary widely. Some brands sell plastic bracelets for $10, while others sell diamond rings that cost thousands. The value of your products should be reflected in your return policy.
Sizing. While sizing is less of an issue for necklaces and bracelets, items like engagement rings are notoriously difficult to size correctly - not to mention very pricey. These challenges need to be accounted for in every jewelry brand’s return policy.
Personalization. Many jewelry products can also be personalized. For example, it’s common for customers to request engravings on necklaces and rings. Your return policy also needs to account for special collections or limited-time items, as well as custom-made products.
For these reasons, it’s important to build a return policy that makes sense specifically for your brand instead of using a one-size-fits-all template. In other words, if you sell high-fashion pieces that range in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, your policy should look very different from a brand that sells silicone rings.
3 strategies to optimize your jewelry return policy
We’re not asking you to recreate your jewelry return policy from scratch. Instead, consider these recommendations and weave them in where it makes sense. You’ll find that these strategies will maximize the impact of your return policy.
1. Be flexible where it makes sense for your brand
Again, every brand is different so no two return policies will be exactly the same. Regardless of what you sell, you can always find a place in your policy to be as customer-centric as possible. Here are a few examples to consider:
Warranty/replacements. Many jewelry brands - whether they’re higher-end or more affordable - offer a warranty on their products. For example, if you break your Pura Vida bracelet within one year of purchasing it, they guarantee a replacement. This is a great policy because it demonstrates confidence in the quality of your products and gives customers peace of mind, making it more likely that they’ll shop with you - especially since 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase.
Exchanges. If possible, be flexible when it comes to exchanges. Why? The last thing you want is for customers to ask for a refund on a bracelet or ring they love - just because it’s the wrong size. To prevent this, you have to make exchanges more appealing than refunds, whether that’s by offering free shipping or offering bonus credit as an incentive.
Return window. While it’s tempting to default to a 30-day return window, there’s little evidence to show this is the ideal length of time. So, if it makes sense for your brand, offer a more generous return window. Or, even better, combine this with our recommendation above and offer a longer return window exclusively for exchanges. Take a look at how Qalo uses this approach below.
2. Clearly communicate exceptions to the rule
Given the various types of jewelry that exist, there are bound to be different rules for different products. That’s totally ok - as long as you’re transparent about these differences and communicating them to customers.
Specifically, think about what your approach to personalized jewelry, special collection items, and custom-made pieces will be. Then clearly call out what your policy for each of these categories is - both in your return policy and, where it makes sense, directly on the product pages. Take a look at this product page from Stone and Strand as an example.
3. Add safeguards for higher-value products
It’s no secret that there are more risks associated with higher-value products like a diamond ring. But that doesn’t mean you have to load your return policy with legalese or threaten your customers with fees - these actions will only deter people from shopping with you in the first place.
Instead, there are other safeguards you can put in place that protect your business while also serving your customers. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Offer a complimentary return service. With higher-value items, it’s usually recommended that customers get their return shipment insured - in case anything gets lost or stolen. If you want to provide a truly exceptional level of service, consider providing customers with a shipping label that’s already insured so they have one less thing to worry about.
Provide packaging guidance. Provide clear instructions to customers on how to package their return shipment. This will reduce the chances of the jewelry getting damaged during transit. For instance, many brands encourage customers to reuse the original packaging that the jewelry came in - like Mejuri’s return policy below. But if that’s not an option, make sure customers return their items in a similarly-sized box and with enough padding to prevent jostling.
Communicate throughout the process. When returning an expensive piece of jewelry, customers may feel anxious about whether the product will make it back safely. To alleviate their concerns, we recommend using an automated returns portal that will email customers at various checkpoints - such as when the package is received, when the refund has been sent, or when the new product is on its way.
These strategies can help strengthen your existing return policy - regardless of what type of jewelry you sell. Consider incorporating these recommendations to create a better returns experience for your customers and your business. Want to make returns and exchanges easy for your jewelry brand? Get in touch with our team, and we’d love to help.