Delivery & returns

Information Pages: eCommerce Guide

Providing delivery and returns information is an important aspect to your eCommerce business for two reasons.

First, as a distance seller you have a legal obligation to show detailed information about how you dispatch and accept product returns, including whether or not a customer’s statutory rights are affected if an item is returned.

The information is not just there to reassure your customers of their rights, but also to protect you as a retailer. So make sure you put as much information as possible into your delivery and returns pages to make sure you’re covered. Remember that anything you miss here could be used against you if the worst were to happen.

If you’re in any doubt about your delivery and returns policies then you should contact your local trading standards office.

Secondly, by offering clear and comprehensive information about delivery and returns you’ll increase customer confidence and ultimately enjoy higher sales conversions.

The way in which you go about presenting your delivery and returns details is down to you. You could present them in the form of a series of questions answered, much like your FAQs. You could integrate them directly into your FAQs page or display them on their own separate web pages. What is most important is that they are both easy to access and to understand.


As soon as a visitor finds a product on your site that interests them their thoughts immediately turn to the delivery times and charges for that item. That’s why it’s so important to make shipping information as transparent as possible. If you make it hard for visitors to find the information they want they’ll soon go elsewhere.

The earlier you show shipping information in the buying process the better. If you can’t give a clear estimate of charges directly in the product description or shopping basket, ensure that you provide a prominent link to your delivery details from those pages.

You should also provide clear navigation to your delivery policy from every other page on your site, either through a direct link or by way of your information or help pages.

You should also provide clear navigation to your delivery policy from every other page on your site, either through a direct link or by way of your information or help pages.

A delivery information page is especially useful where you offer a range of complicated delivery options and charges. If this is the case, you should structure your information carefully to avoid confusing visitors and putting them off.

What you should include in your delivery policy

Your delivery policy must be both clear and comprehensive, explaining your full range of shipping options and prices, including:

  • Shipping methods
  • Estimated delivery times
  • Overseas shipping charges
  • Order value required for free delivery
  • Optional extras, such as gift wrapping and postal insurance

You should also explain:

  • How long before orders are dispatched
  • Ways of tracking orders
  • Your procedure for dealing with lost shipments
  • The customer’s responsibility to enter accurate delivery information


One of the main reasons why people are reluctant to purchase online is that no matter how good your product descriptions and images are they simply cannot touch and feel the product before they buy.

A clear, workable and well-developed customer returns policy can help to overcome these objections by reassuring customers that they can change their mind and are able to return the goods with the minimum of inconvenience.

Putting a good returns system in place will also improve the shopping experience for existing customers. So don’t think that just because a customer has returned an item that they won’t necessarily shop with you again. If you’ve given the customer good service then you’ll leave a lasting impression, making them more likely to consider you again when they next make a similar purchase.


You need to spell out clearly and concisely what your customers’ rights and obligations are. You should also give simple instructions on how to make a return and include your returns information in your invoice or your order confirmation email.

You also should explain:

  • What constitutes an acceptable return: Such as when items are damaged, faulty or incorrect. You should also state any time limits that apply and also where you’ll still exchange or refund when the goods have been opened, used or worn.
  • Return shipping charges: You should specify who is responsible for the cost of returning the item. If you don’t, you cannot charge anything. You should also cover any conditions for refunding shipping. For example, if you only pay the cost of return shipping for incorrect, damaged or faulty items, then say so.
  • The customer’s duty of care: You should remind the customer that they must take reasonable care of the item if they intend to return it. For example, they should be perfectly entitled to try on an item of clothing, but they would be going too far if they then removed all the manufacturer’s labels.

What you need to consider

While it is important to assure shoppers that you have an open, customer-friendly approach to returns, at the same time both you and your customer want to avoid the need to make a return in the first place.

The best way to do this is by ensuring that your product details pages communicate the item description as comprehensively and accurately as possible, so that customers have the clearest idea of what to expect.

You can get a significant improvement to your sales conversion rate just by providing a range of delivery options to suit different customer needs:

Avoid jacking up your shipping rates as a way to profit from your customers. They will be put off by excessive charges and will quickly move on to another site, where they feel that more of their money is actually going into the goods they’re buying.