US mystery shopping and research agency StellaService Inc., which specializes in tracking e-commerce data, has compared the length of time it takes for cash or credit to appear in a shopper’s account after the request for a refund in major online shops. Their finding show, that this is one of important factors that determines customer loyalty, reports Bloomberg.
Amazon.com, the Seattle-based company, takes 1.3 days on average to return cash, which is by far the quickest among online stores. Their closest competitors require at least 3 days, and the average refund time in the sector is 9 days according to new research from StellaService.
While most Web stores will only pay once a return parcel is on its way, Amazon offers instant refunds for some purchases, allowing customers 30 days to return the product after they have received their payback.
The advantage that an e-shop gets from such approach is obvious – instead of tying up cash in a lengthy refund process and preventing customers from buying other things, the company gets people spending again as soon as possible. Fast refunds in Internet commerce, where shoppers buy things they haven’t touched or tried, is the way to increasing profits.
“Our goal is to make sure customers are satisfied with their experience with Amazon whether they are shopping or returning an item,” said Kelly Cheeseman, a spokeswoman for Amazon – Retailers are interested in making things faster, too, because the refund process is the last experience customers have with a retailer, and you want it to be a good one.”
A lot of retailers put their energy into increasing sales and making more money, but the crucial point is making your customers happy. A refund delay, even if it has a logical explanation, is still emotionally frustrating.
Amazon’s customers claimed that the quick refund has influenced their shopping habits immensely.