6 Ways To Decrease Chargebacks While Powering Up Conversions That Top Sites Use

In 2023, online retail purchases are expected to rise from 14.1% (in 2019) to 22%. With half (50%) of even offline in-person purchases started on a mobile device for research. Of course, what does this mean to you as a business owner? 

You need to instill confidence in your prospective buyers that what they buy online from you will hold up to their expectations when they receive it. And, more importantly, if it does not, they can return it easily.

To convert visitors into shoppers, to entice them to click on that Buy Now button and complete the checkout process there are a few (six to be exact) very important integrations you can do right now (if you’re a ServerWise client, many of these will be done for you).

Website Optimization Is A Must

Over half of your site visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on your site. You’ll either hook them in that time or they’ll leave and most likely will not return. Your product may be amazing and your service may exceed all expectations but if your site isn’t optimized for all devices or if it loads too slowly (3.5 seconds is too slow) you will most likely be increasing your competitors sales instead. 

Of course your visitors want a modern easy-to-navigate site that is as attractive as it is informative, but even the most popular well-established site must load within two seconds. This optimization isn’t merely to prevent site visitors from leaving, but it’s also necessary to improve and maintain your Google rankings. Google recently announced that overall site experience will be integrated into all rankings soon. You need to be ready!

How do you optimize your site, make it responsive (easily viewable on all devices) and lower load times?

There are many services available that excel at doing it all for you. Expect to pay between $125 and $600 (depending on the size, scope and platform used) for optimization services. It’s an investment well spent!

Stress less as a ServerWise client

Site optimization, image optimization, CDN services and SEO services are already included and available to you as a ServerWise customer. Nothing to worry about!

Enhance Your Product Description

Most chargebacks fall into the dreaded (and highly preventable) “Item Not as Described” category. And what’s almost worse than that is that you lost a customer, and it’s now highly likely that the customer will share his or her frustration of your products with others.

We’ve all been there! You excitedly purchase that killer product, only to finally receive it and discover it’s nothing like the product description. And what could have and should have become a customer you can make sales on for a decade to come is now frustrated and angry. 

This is one of the easiest chargebacks to prevent!

Enhance your product descriptions in your own words. Don’t just rely on the manufacturer’s text – think about your actual customers and write it to them personally. Include everything you can: dimensions, lots of photos, measurements, colors, care instructions, allergen information, manufacturing location. 

Go Multimedia For Your Products

You want to give your site visitors the most information and the most accurate depiction of the product, so you’ll need to break into multimedia mode!

When products have a collection of images from all angles including photos of real people holding or using the product (to show scale) chargebacks and returns drop significantly. Most customers won’t read every word in your well-written and accurate description, but they will look at all the photos.

Consider adding user generated photos as well. Amazon experienced a sharp decrease in product returns when they began allowing customers to post their own photos and videos of the product. This also increases buyer confidence significantly.

What about video?

Product videos are a growing and very popular way to give your site visitors a taste of the in-person shopping experience. Consumers love videos and are nearly 35% more likely to purchase your product after watching a quick video that shows the fit, sway, setup, choices, sounds, etc.  

88% of professional marketers agree that video marketing provides a positive return on investment.

Provide Real Live Assistance

Accurate and seemingly personal product descriptions including some impressive videos may not be enough depending on your product, competitors or pricing point.

Now it’s time to consider service enhancements. For example, a recent ServerWise client wanted to add virtual shopping assistants to their site, but didn’t know which service to use. We helped them and their sales increased 7% in two weeks. Chargebacks and returns decreased a full 11%. Their customers felt connected and questions and concerns were answered in real time.

After a couple of months, the same client decided to up their game by adding live chat with customer service personnel to help explain policies and fit questions. We (ServerWise) suggested the addition of a quick self-fit service utility on the website. 

The customer can now click a button, enter her dimensions including weight and height and choose from a handful of avatars which body type is most similar. Now the customer can see and receive data-driven recommendations on fit and size.

This dropped the client’s returns and refunds to below 3%, which far exceeded all expectations (including mine).

Be Upfront & Direct About Shipping Costs & Policies

Shipping costs and duration now play a top role on purchase decisions and cart abandonment.  With so many online stores providing free and quick shipping it doesn’t take much for a customer to get frustrated by shipping costs or delays in receiving their purchase. 

The old strategy was to wait until the customer had a full cart and went to check out to display the shipping costs – it was figured they’ll still most likely purchase as they already entered much of their information. Not anymore! Now with one-step logins and automated cards and services, a customer is far more likely to abandon the order at checkout and go elsewhere.

Be direct, upfront and transparent. Include all the shipping costs, times and any promotional offers including free shipping on the product page itself. Empower your customer with more information instead of less, and you’ll stand a higher chance of making the sale.

Actively Advertise Your Refund & Return Policy

Customers will occasionally enact a chargeback over a missed return window or sheer ignorance of a merchant’s return policy.

Zappos became a household name and skyrocketed in value because they spent millions to advertise their generous return, refund and exchange policies. That made them trustworthy to tens of millions instantly. 

Be direct and showcase your related policies on your product pages, checkout process and even in a follow-up email a week after your customer received the item(s).

A quick “Checking In” email that asks whether the customer has any issues or questions or desires to return the item for a refund or exchange is a great way to reduce chargebacks while taking a possible negative and turning it into a positive. Show your customer you care about his or her long-term satisfaction and that your interest doesn’t’ stop the moment the sale is completed.

In doing so, you’ll heavily reduce chargebacks and returns while providing a strong loyal customer base you can sell to for years to come.

Picture of J. Fleischmann
J. Fleischmann
James is a content strategist, sites manager and copywriter for ServerWise. He's written 51 e-books for clients resulting in over 600,000 new leads as a ghostwriter. James lives in Texas with three dogs and has a Longhorn as a neighbor.