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Product Protection Merchandising Report Card: How These Furniture Retailers Stack Up

This is the first in a recurring series where we’ll compare and contrast retailers in a merchandise category where extended warranties and accidental damage protection plans are often sold. We'll evaluate each brand's merchandising of their product protection program and grade each on a number of factors that lead to successful results.

The furniture category is where extended warranties and accidental damage protection plans are perhaps the most relevant to consumers, because that’s where “life happens” every day for most of us. With children, pets, parties and family nights with food and drink, the odds that something will one day go wrong are pretty high.

This is why brick & mortar furniture stores have been successfully selling product protection for decades, and why furniture was one of the early categories to offer extended warranties online. And with furniture, where average tickets are high and purchases are thoughtfully considered, the high attachment rates of extended product protection plans can present a significant revenue and profit opportunity for retailers who offer them.

But to fully leverage the opportunity, some basic best practices should be followed when setting up the offerings in your conversion funnel. 

In this installation of our series, we will compare and contrast the on-site execution from five retailers, all of whom currently offer extended product protection plans on their websites: Wayfair, Overstock, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Ashley Furniture, and Z Gallerie.

We will review & grade:

  • PDP Placements
  • Interstitial Modals
  • Cart Placements
  • Checkout Placements
  • Pricing
  • Duration Options

Product Detail Page Placement

Why it matters:

The PDP is where most retailers start to socialize that they offer extended product protection plans. The goal is to introduce the coverage options and pricing organically in the decision making steps prior to the add to cart (ATC) button. While most retailers may find the PDP to make a relatively small contribution to overall attachment rate, it plays a key role in setting the stage for attachment at the steps further down the funnel.

Wayfair PDP

Grade: B
Link

Points for:

  • Dual use of the “What’s Covered” link to trigger the modal where plans can be purchased and FAQs can be answered.
  • Well-written call-to-action headline inside the modal.
  • Key coverage points succinctly listed and category-relevant.
  • Assurance provider (Allstate) referenced prominently.

Deductions for:

  • Protection plans are offered after the decision tree, below the ATC button, rather than as the last step prior to ATC.
  • Only the longest/most expensive 5-year duration is displayed on all furniture pieces, regardless of price point.
  • The alternative/less expensive 3-year option is hidden in the modal behind a drop arrow (users often miss this).
  • Overpriced plans are much less likely to attach (16% and 13% of the product value).
  • No reference of basic coverage in the widget, only duration length and price.

wayfair-pdp-1

Overstock PDP

Grade: D
Link

Points for:

  • The confusing UX, the pricing, and the coverage FAQs are likely to do little to drive high attachment rates.

Deductions for:

  • “Select a Warranty” call-to-action (CTA) suggests that the item may not come with a standard warranty if the user doesn't select one.
  • Widget appears to be a drop arrow selector, but unexpectedly opens a large modal with few details and much unused blank space.
  • No reference to durations or pricing until “Select a Warranty” is clicked.
  • Duration, pricing, and assurance partner language are not succinctly communicated inside the modal.
  • “Decline Additional Coverage” radio button is at the top of the stack, and automatically checked. This will steer shoppers to decline at a higher rate.
  • No additional duration lengths or pricing offers are made, regardless of the product price point.
  • One price fits all? A browse around Overstock shows that the same $68 5-year plan is being offered on every sofa from a $109 inflatable to a $14,000 leather sofa. 
  • Learn More button is at the bottom of the modal, far from the decision buttons.
  • Learn More button opens another browser tab, where there is no reference to the aforementioned Guardsman Furniture Professionals Elite plan.
  • Other links embedded in the Learn More page open additional browser tabs, none with  clear relevance to the sofa on the PDP.

overstock-pdp-1

Z Gallerie PDP

Grade: B
Link

Points for:

  • Clearly written CTA with duration and pricing offers as the last step before the ATC button.
  • 2, 3, and 5 Year duration options leverage the “decoy” middle price point that helps users better understand the value proposition for shorter vs. longer durations.
  • Tool tip (?) launches an FAQ modal with well-written intro, in-home visual, and succinct coverage points.
  • Reference to the assurance provider (Extend).

Deductions for:

  • Unfairly priced coverage with the 5-year duration priced at 17% of the value of the sofa. A scan of other protection plan offerings on Z Gallerie showed prices as much as 25-65% higher than coverage offered on competitors’ sites for a comparably priced sofa.
  • Use of a tool tip (?) is nebulous, compared to a hyperlinked “What’s Covered” CTA.

zgallerie-pdp

Ashley Home Furniture PDP

Grade: D
Link

Points for:

  • Branded “Life Happens” 5-year protection plan connects clearly.
  • Use of a prominent “See What’s Covered” button for FAQs.

Deductions for:

  • Protection plan offer is well below the fold, and not present in the decision tree before the ATC button.
  • No pricing for Protection Plan offer. The price for this sofa is a known data point on the PDP; there is no valid reason not to show it.
  • Inability for the shopper to add a protection plan while on the PDP (i.e. “add plan in cart”). 
  • “See What’s Covered” button opens another browser window rather than a modal.
  • No reference of the assurance backer (GBS/ProtectAll) until the FAQ page.

ashley-pdp

Bob’s Discount Furniture PDP

Grade: C
Link

Points for:

  • Prominent placement of protection plan offering above the ATC button.
  • Well-written CTA for the My Goof Protection Plan (by Guardian) that references coverages and duration.
  • Protection plan branding is aligned with Bob’s overall brand ethos.
  • See Details link used to FAQ modal.

Deductions for:

  • (See price in cart) is a non-starter for how to display any kind of add-on services. This tactic is typically only used by electronics retailers who are selling items below MAP. Price is actually not even visible until checkout.
  • Only one (expensive) 5-year duration offered, regardless of price point. Attachment rate could be optimized with the addition of 2, 3 year durations. 
  • See Details opens an all-encompassing FAQ that is not category-specific. Requires the user to search for their item coverages and their price.
  • No reference of Guardian as the assurance backer unless someone reads the See Details.

bobs-pdp

Interstitial Modal Placement

Why it matters:

The interstitial modal (between the PDP and the cart page) is critical when it comes to attaching extended product protection plans. Shoppers have been well-conditioned for years to expect interstitial modals when a retailer needs to communicate a key ask (e.g. “Join Amazon Prime,” or “Save 20% for Subscribing to Email”). More often than not, shoppers will consider the offer and simply close the modal and move on if they are not interested. Retailers who offer extended product protection can expect the interstitial modal to drive 60-70% of their attachment, if using various widgets in the conversion funnel.

Wayfair Interstitial Modal

Grade: B+

Points for:

  • Styling: fonts, colors, point sizes are all in lockstep with Wayfair’s PDP, for a seamless visual.
  • Well-written call-to-action headline.
  • Key coverage points succinctly listed and category-relevant.
  • “Learn More” link for full FAQs.
  • Assurance provider (Allstate) referenced prominently.

Deductions for:

  • The alternative/less expensive 3-year option is hidden in the modal behind a drop arrow (users often miss this).
  • Overpriced plans are much less likely to attach (16% and 13% of the product value).

wayfair-modal

Overstock Interstitial Modal

Grade: F

Points for:

  • N/A

Deductions for:

  • No use of interstitial modal between the PDP and cart means that at most, Overstock is achieving perhaps 30% of their overall potential for their Guardsman program.
  • By contrast, Overstock’s PDP CTA for $19.95/year to join Club O rewards is -72% less valuable on a per-instance basis than attaching their extended product protection plan.

Z Gallerie Interstitial Modal

Grade: B

Points for:

  • Clearly written & prominent CTA headline inside the modal.
  • Brief summary of the key coverage points.
  • “Coverage begins on date of delivery” message is important, with long furniture lead times.
  • 2, 3, and 5 Year duration options leverage the “decoy” middle price point that helps users better understand the value proposition for shorter vs. longer durations.
  • “Best Seller” 3-year plan duration is highlighted, giving the shopper a frame of reference for comparison.
  • Use of in-home visual helps make an emotional connection with the shopper.
  • Reference to the assurance provider (Extend).

Deductions for:

  • Unfairly priced coverage with the “Best Value” 5-year duration priced at 17% of the cost of the sofa. A scan of other protection plan offerings on Z Gallerie showed prices as much as 25-65% higher than coverage offered on competitors for a comparably priced sofa.
  • The “Why Choose Extend” message used in the FAQ modal on the PDP would be effective if also used here.

zgallerie-modal

Ashley Home Furniture Interstitial Modal

Grade: F

Points for:

  • N/A

Deductions for:

  • No use of interstitial modal between the PDP and cart means that at most, Ashley Home Furniture is achieving perhaps 30% of their overall potential for their GBS/ProtectAll program.

Bob’s Discount Furniture Interstitial Modal

Grade: C

Points for:

  • Embedding a protection plan offer inside the already-existing add-to-cart confirmation modal.
  • Well-written CTA for the My Goof Protection Plan (by Guardian) that references coverages and duration.
  • Protection plan branding is aligned with Bob’s overall brand ethos.

Deductions for:

  • No price for the 5-year plan is shown, a non-starter for most shoppers.
  • UX matters: “Add Protection” button only functions if the shopper clicks it, then moves to checkout. Changing the state of the button to “Added” doesn’t add the plan to cart if the shopper clicks to “View Full Cart.” 
  • Only one (expensive) 5-year duration offered, regardless of price point. Attachment rate could be optimized with the addition of 2, 3 year durations. 
  • No “See Details” link to FAQ modal.
  • No reference of Guardian as the assurance backer.

bobs-modal

Cart Placement

Why it matters:

The cart placement is used by retailers in either the “fly-in cart” or the full cart preview page, or both. Presented alongside other pertinent add-ons like assembly services, inside delivery or shipping insurance, the cart is most often the second most effective location for attachment of extended product protection plans. When multiple warrantable items are in the cart, the best practice is to make an inline offer of product protection on each.

Wayfair Cart Placement

Grade: B

Points for:

  • Inline banner used with two CTAs, one a hyperlink, one a commonly recognized cart+ button. 
  • Styling: fonts, colors, point sizes are all in lockstep with Wayfair’s cart, for a seamless visual.
  • Well-written call-to-action headline inside the protection plan modal
  • Key coverage points succinctly listed and category-relevant.
  • “Learn More” link for full FAQs.
  • Assurance provider (Allstate) referenced prominently.

Deductions for:

  • Shoppers have to re-engage the modal once again to review the duration options and pricing, rather than having the options exposed inside the banner itself.
  • Inside the modal, the alternative/less expensive 3-year option is hidden behind the 5-year option with a drop arrow (users often miss this).
  • Overpriced plans are much less likely to attach (16% and 13% of the product value).

wayfair-cart

Overstock Cart Placement

Grade: C

Points for:

  • Extended protection plan offer is nested inline with each warrantable line item in cart.
  • Clearly written “Protect Your Purchase” CTA.
  • Plan price is displayed inline, contrary to the missing price on the PDP.
  • “Learn More” link opens a (long) side modal that specifically references Guardsman’s Furniture Professionals Elite program, with coverage points.

Deductions for:

  • No summary of the coverage points used as a subtext within the inline placement. 
  • “Decline Additional Coverage” radio button is at the top of the stack, and automatically checked. This will steer shoppers to decline at a higher rate.
  • No additional duration lengths or pricing offers are made, regardless of the product price point.
  • One price fits all? A browse around Overstock shows that the same $68 5-year plan is being offered on every sofa from a $109 inflatable to a $14,000 leather sofa.

overstock-cart

Z Gallerie Cart Placement

Grade: B-

Points for:

  • Inline button used to make extended product protection offer on every warrantable line item in cart.
  • The offers appear in both the cart “fly-in” that fires on the PDP, and also on the full cart review page — 2x the chances to attach a plan.
  • Use of “Add Accident Protection” is a good shorthand phrase that is clearly understood.
  • Cart button launches the same modal that the shopper has already become familiar with earlier in the funnel.

Deductions for:

  • Shoppers have to re-engage the modal at this step, rather than having the durations and pricing visible inline with an FAQ link. 
  • Details matter: The cart button CTA promises “Add Accident Protection for $169.” In reality, the statement should be “...from $169” as this is the price for the 2-year plan inside the modal. 3 and 5-year options are $209 and $319.
  • The word “Add” (accident protection) may seem to some shoppers to be an automatic add-to-cart, rather than a choice.
  • No “What’s Covered” hyperlink used with the inline cart placement. 

zgallerie-cart

Ashley Home Furniture Cart Placement

Grade: D

Points for:

  • Product protection offer nested inline with each warrantable item.
  • Plan Details hyperlink launches a .pdf file, albeit with every possible product coverage, not just pertinent to the sofa. At least the user who is considering their purchase can print and take away the plan details for review.

Deductions for:

  • 5-year plan is already checked (auto opt-in) and the price of the plan is slyly hidden in the cart subtotals. Some shoppers consider this to be “slamming” of an unwanted offer. 
  • The branding language changes in the cart to “Protect your items from the unexpected,” which is contrary to the “Life Happens” branding of the program on the PDP.

ashley-cart

Bob’s Discount Furniture Cart Placement

Grade: C

Points for:

  • Product protection offer nested inline with each warrantable item.
  • “See Details” hyperlink launches the same modal that shoppers may have viewed further up the funnel.

Deductions for:

  • Goof Proof It! radio button is already selected to “yes,” and will add a plan to the total when shoppers move to checkout. Some shoppers consider this to be “slamming” of an unwanted offer. 
  • No reference to the duration of the plan or its price is made in the inline cart placement. Not showing the price of the plan or its duration is a non-starter for most shoppers.
  • No reference of Guardsman as the assurance backer.

bobs-cart

Final Grades: Furniture Product Protection Report Card

So, how did these brands stack up with their product protection merchandising on-site? Wayfair and Z Gallerie had decent programs, but with a lot of opportunity to improve the UX and pricing. Ashley Home Furniture and Overstock ranked the worst, due to many challenges that spanned pricing, placements (or lack thereof), and UX.

 

Overall Grade

Summary

wayfair-logo-transparent

B

With UX and pricing adjustments, could see a +30% or more lift in their plan volume.

zgallerie-logo-transparent

B

With an in-depth review of their overpriced plans, could see a +20% or more lift in their plan volume as well as improved CSAT.

bobs-furniture-logo-transparent

C

Exposing plan pricing and durations all the way through the funnel is job #1. Also, UX and design changes to simplify and improve effectiveness.

ashley-furniture-logo-transparent

D-

Consider starting over with a customer-centric provider that understands UX, design, and how to manage plan pricing by category and duration.

overstock-logo-transparent

D-

Consider starting over with a customer-centric provider that understands UX, design, and how to manage plan pricing by category and duration.

Even among established brands who may have been offering product protection for many years, there is a lot of opportunity to optimize and increase performance of this revenue-driving and experience-improving program. Hopefully these assessments can provide inspiration on how you, too, can set up a high performing product protection program for your brand.

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Jonathan Fox

About the author

Jonathan is the Ecommerce Manager at Mulberry. He has 30+ years of experience in brick & mortar and online retail merchandising, and was most recently a Sr. Director at eBags.com, one of Mulberry's earliest Product Protection partners.

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