eCommerce websites may not always be known for the shopping experience they provide, but happy customers are still important.
Including a satisfaction guarantee as part of your customer service strategy is a good first step.
Why Do Satisfaction Guarantees Matter?
Having a guarantee is a normal part of doing business today. Writing a standout guarantee can put you ahead of the running and win over new customers.
Customers don’t always leave satisfied on their first encounter with your business. When their first encounter (or second, or third…) is disappointing or negative in any way, your solid satisfaction guarantee may be the only thing that turns the experience around.
11 Satisfaction Guarantees for eCommerce Businesses
Here are examples of 11 different satisfaction guarantees used by real ecommerce businesses:
1. Service Guarantees
Unless you run an Etsy shop making homemade products yourself, you may not be able to guarantee the quality of every single product sold through your ecommerce shop. You would hope they all live up to your highest standards, but you can’t completely control that.
But, you can always guarantee the quality of the specific services you provide in conjunction with the products you sell.
Example: ThredUp’s Polka Dot Promise
“If we’ve listed an item incorrectly or there’s a problem with your order, we will make it right.”
2. Shipping Guarantees
For some customers, timeliness is important. If you can guarantee an item will ship by a specific time, you can win over customers who care about getting products quickly.
Example: Amazon’s Guaranteed Delivery
“If we provide a guaranteed delivery date on the checkout page, your shipping fees may be refunded if we miss our promised delivery date.”
3. Full Satisfaction Guarantees
If you want to put your best foot forward and throw your full confidence behind your products, offer a full satisfaction guarantee, also known as a happiness guarantee. With these guarantees, you’re telling customers that if they’re not 100% satisfied with their order, they can get a refund, exchange, or some other form of compensation.
These guarantees apply even if there’s nothing wrong with the product itself or the order.
Example: Bomba’s Happiness Guarantee
“The Happiness Guarantee ensures that we will do what it takes for you to be satisfied with your Bombas, whatever it takes. If your socks don’t fit, we’ll help you return or exchange. If your shirt develops a hole, we’ll replace it. Dog chewed up your socks, we’ll replace them.
Think your request is too out there to be covered by the Happiness Guarantee? Just try us.”
4. Lifetime Guarantees
For ecommerce companies, one of the strongest guarantees you can give for your products is a lifetime guarantee. If anything goes wrong with the product at any time, you’re promising your customers that you’ll fix it. Even if it’s years after the purchase.
“Our simple as that® guarantee means if your bag is ever broken or damaged, we will repair it free of charge, no proof of purchase needed, no questions asked.”
5. Timed Guarantees
It can be helpful to give your customers a grace period to request a refund if they don’t like the product or something’s wrong with it. A timed guarantee helps people feel like they won’t get stuck with a bad product they don’t want.
The downside to time guarantees is that it may put pressure on your customers to return something quickly rather than giving it a real chance.
Example: Steam’s Timed Refund Policy
“Valve will issue a refund for any title that is requested within 14 days of purchase and has been played for less than 2 hours.”
6. Try-for-Free Guarantees
A try-for-free guarantee, or a trial policy, allows your customers to get a few products shipped to their home to try on for free before making a final purchase. They can keep what they want and ship back whatever they don’t want, only getting charged for what they keep.
Example: Mister Spex Free Home Trial Plan
“Have you ever wondered if your favorite frames will actually suit you once you have them on? No need to wonder, try up to 4 glasses at home completely free of charge.”
7. First-Time Buyer Guarantees
Offering a refund guarantee or some other type of compensation guarantee for first time customers puts new leads at ease. This is a simple way to remove one of the major obstacles when someone is looking at buying from an unfamiliar brand.
“We offer a Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee to our first-time retail customers or first time issues for orders with a subtotal up to $100.”
8. Price Match Guarantees
A price match guarantee says that if you purchase a product, then find the exact product for sale cheaper elsewhere within a set time, you can get refunded the difference.
Example: Target’s Price Match Policy
“We’ll match the price if you buy a qualifying item at Target then find the identical item for less at Target.com, select online competitors, or in Target’s or competitor’s local print ad. Price matches may be requested at time of purchase or within 14 days after purchase.”
9. Trade-in Guarantees
If your customers want to replace or upgrade gear they bought from you, you can offer a trade-in and give credit towards a new replacement. This is a great strategy for items that become obsolete over time, like high-priced tech or specialized equipment when new models are introduced.
Example: Apple Trade In
“Trade in your eligible device for credit toward your next purchase, or get an Apple Gift Card you can use anytime.”
10. Unique USP Guarantees
What is the main pain point for your customers? What is their biggest hesitancy when buying your products?
Create a guarantee that removes any obstacle and makes it an obvious choice to buy from you.
“If at any time one of these products fails to meet your expectations, show us your receipt and we will double your money back.”
11. Hybrid Guarantees
Sometimes guaranteeing one thing isn’t enough, especially in a highly competitive market. If all your competitors are offering the same or similar guarantees, one way to differentiate yourself may be to step up your offer.
Hybrid guarantees are a mix of two or more different guarantees at once.
Example: Nectar’s Mattress Guarantees
Nectar offers a 365 day trial period, a lifetime warranty, and free returns.
While these are a few real-world examples of working satisfaction guarantees, it’s up to you to choose a model that fits well with your business specifically. The biggest goal of any guarantee policy is to remove obstacles that are preventing customers from buying, while also providing an avenue to transform an unhappy customer into a satisfied customer.