Using Risk Reversal to Increase Ecommerce Sales: If You’ve Got it Flaunt It

There’s an old (and probably sexist) saying that I often apply to many online marketing decisions.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you don’t, flaunt it more.

The online store Magic Of Fire has “it.”

    • A great product or service.
  • A bona fide value proposition.
  • Top people working behind the scenes.
  • Customers who will tell your story.
  • A great guarantee, warranty or return policy.

We have a scientific name for guarantees, warranties and generous return policies: Risk Reversal.

Magic of Fire offered an amazing guarantee. It goes something like this:

“Shipping is free. If you trust us enough to buy from us, we promise that, if you have any issues with your product or our service, we’ll pay to ship your item back at our expense and refund your purchase price.”

Now, can you find this promise on their product page?

Magic of Fire Ecommerce Product Page

I put it through our Scanning Electron Microscope and eventually found a “Free Shipping” logo near the bottom of the page. I eventually found a link to their return policy, with the text “100% Satisfaction.”

Cliche is not flaunting. Avoid language like “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “No Risk” and “No obligation.” These no longer mean anything.

If you’ve got it flaunt it.

Risk Reversal Means Never Having to Say Goodbye

When you purchase from a glass and cement store (nothing is brick and mortar anymore), you know that you have an easy out if you don’t like what you bought. You’ll march right in there, slam it down on the customer service desk and demand your money.

Not so much online.

This makes buyers delay hitting that checkout button. They procrastinate, surf other parts of your site and wait for circumstance to save them from making the final decision.

This is especially true if you’ve done a poor job building trust and credibility with your site. The fear is that they will get a lump of coal deposited on their doorstep when they expected a snuggly with a heart-shaped pattern. And they will have no store to storm into.

It sounds “risky.”

Relational buyers will fear getting stuck with the wrong product.

Transactional buyers fear that shipping fees will ruin their great deal, especially if they want to return it (and they will return anything they don’t like).

“Risk reversal” turns “risky” into “safe.”

I recommended that Magic of Fire bring their fantastic return policy right up next to the Add to Cart button on their all-important product pages. I also recommended that they make their free shipping available all over the site, especially in the checkout process.

These two changes alone should deliver a significant boost in conversion rates and revenue per visit.

Does Risk Reversal Really Work?

Magic of Fire’s Mark Oakley called me for a free consultation. After meeting Mark over Skype and hearing his shipping and return policies, I bought a beautiful “star and moon” fire pit for my house.

Zappos has the most famous risk reversal story in the online world. Their 365 day return policy with shipping both ways is one reason their sales reached $1 billion in ten years. That’s amazing growth for a commodity apparel store.

Are you flaunting it?

This is just one mistake that businesses make when selling online.

Businesses who have great products or services with amazing value propositions and great reputations continue to struggle online.

We’re the people who change that.

Jump on a call with us at (888) 961-6604. It’s free, and we’ll show you how much money you could be making with our 120-day Conversion Catalyst™ program.


Mark has apparently taken my advice to heart, placing his free shipping offer all over the site and adding risk reversal near his “Add to Cart” button.

Magic of Fire sitewide free shipping offer.

Magic of Fire sitewide free shipping offer.

The feature free shipping in a visible place on the product pages as well.

Magic of Fire free shipping offer on the Product Page.

Magic of Fire free shipping offer on the Product Page.

Want to find out how this turns out? Subscribe to The Conversion Scientist.

Let me put a finer point on the concept of “flaunting.” This is flaunting:

Make your best risk reversal offers pop on your pages

Make your best risk reversal offers pop on your pages.

This 20 second design may not match your brand, but you should strive to find something that pops for something as important as your risk reversal.

I’ll give a free signed book to anyone who can tell me in the comments where I heard “If you’ve got it flaunt it. If you don’t flaunt it more.”

Brian Massey
8 replies
  1. Kostas Chiotis says:

    Hi Brian, this was a very interesting read. It really breaks down and explains fully the concept of risk reversal. I will be interested to read a follow up of how ‘flaunting it’ works out for him!


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