When it comes to swimwear, we understand that there are a number of things to take into account for the returns process. We'll be sharing some tips that we've picked up from working with swimwear brands around the world like FELLA Swim, Nekid Swim, Kavala Collective, and B Ā M B A Swim.
Strategy #1: Balancing hygiene and flexibility
One of the challenges online swimwear brands face is crafting a flexible return policy while ensuring high hygiene standards. While swim tops generally don't present as many issues, pieces like swimsuit bottoms and one-pieces require a little more consideration.
Some brands like FELLA Swim opt for the use of a hygiene seal for these and require that these remain in tact until returned.
Alternatively, some brands will simply disallow swim bottoms, or even specifically thongs, from being returned to avoid these concerns altogether. Here, customers won't be able to proceed with an item that has been marked as non-returnable.
It ultimately comes down to what works best for your brand, but these are a few ways that you can ensure that your safety standards are maintained while giving your customers enough options to feel comfortable.
Strategy #2: Providing size guidance
Since swimsuits tend to be form-fitting, customers are unlikely to settle for an item that's too big or too small.
At the pre-purchase stage, it can be helpful to provide an accessible and detailed size chart. Nekid Swimwear includes a size guide and size calculator at each product page, so that customers can see which size would suit their measurements best for each specific product.
Customers can input their measurements and see their recommended size, including the expected fit.
If the piece still doesn't fit quite how the customer would like, make exchanges as easy as possible so that they can still end up with the right piece in their hands. Some brands include a short message at the exchange stage to give customers more support with their selection, as done below:
With swimwear, the margin for fit is pretty tight. By clearly communicating size details to your customers, and giving them the security of another try, you build their comfort and trust with your brand in the long run.
Strategy #3: Extended return window by season
For most of the world, swimwear tends to spike or dip based on the season. When customers are rushing to buy new pieces for an upcoming summer holiday, some brands like to set themselves apart with an extended return window during peak seasons.
At the beginning of summer, making it clear that your return window is extended beyond the standard 14 or 30-day window can be a differentiating factor between yourself and the competition. This can be communicated on your home page, via a banner, or just within your return policy, but will allow busy shoppers to relax a little more knowing that time is on their side. With customers urgently comparing swimwear brands, giving them more leeway can make you stand out from the crowd.
Strategy #4: Collecting immediate and specific feedback
Moving forward with the returns data, it's also helpful to know why exactly customers are returning items to make adjustments for the future. With products as specific as swimwear, narrowing down the reasons for return is no easy feat.
By customizing the return reasons, B Ā M B A Swim gives customers clear options to choose from as they submit their request. This data allows you to react quickly to any manufacturing issues or amendments that need to be made to the product.
To get even more specific, you can explore important customer insights by have your customer upload an image and write an extra note. For example, you'll be able to spot trending defects more easily by inspecting the photos, or note detailed sizing concerns if customers are dissatisfied with the fit (e.g. customer usually wears a US 10 but needs to exchange for a US 8).
These are a just couple of the ways brands use returns to their advantage in the swimwear industry. Based on our experience, these strategies can streamline your workflow and improve your customers' return experience overall. Feel free to reach out to us here and we'd be happy to have a chat to explore other potential strategies that will work for your brand.