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Why Warranties Are Important to Ecommerce Customers

When consumers shop online, particularly for expensive products, they need to feel confident that they are making smart purchases. They need to feel comfortable that when they spend their money, the product will last, and if there’s an issue, the item will be fixed or replaced. Enter warranties.

In a recent consumer survey, buyers said the #1 reason they purchased extended warranties was to protect their expensive purchases. After all - if you’re investing in a big-ticket purchase like a mattress or laptop, you want to make sure that it will last. That means not only protecting against malfunctions over the years, but also standing up to those everyday accidents like spills, cracks, or stains. Extended warranties provide the product protection customers are seeking out, and at the same time foster loyalty and trust in your brand.

Why are extended warranties so important to customers and how can you use them as a way to deliver a great experience? Let’s take a look at four areas that customers care about.

Product Protection

Customers come in with expectations on how long a product will last, and what issues the company will cover. Can you imagine the reaction of a customer calling in with a broken item only to find out their limited warranty just expired or their issue isn’t covered? Not setting expectations only sets the stage for poor customer experiences.

Offering extended warranties can actually give you the opportunity to set expectations about what’s covered and what’s not in the limited manufacturer warranty vs. a paid protection plan. And since coverage of any possible issue can be expensive to service, offering protection plans can give customers the option to get the coverage they want and would be willing to pay for. All together, offering protection plans allows you to set expectations clearly and also deliver on service promises, creating a great customer experience.

Product Quality

When a customer is making an expensive purchase, they expect a certain level of product quality. You may think that offering a protection plan may signal that there’s poor product quality, but it’s actually the opposite. Offering a protection plan can help customers feel confident in your brand because of your willingness to stand behind your products for the long term.

In fact, it is often the companies with reputations for high product quality that offer fantastic product protection options. This signals to their customers that they can be confident in making an investment in their products.

Customer Service

A good or bad customer service experience can mark the difference between a loyal fan and a lost customer. Roughly 50% of consumers say they would switch to a new brand after just one bad experience, and that goes up to nearly 80% after multiple bad experiences. It’s clear - poor customer service translates into an overall negative view of a brand.

Offering extended warranties in partnership with a product protection company can actually address this concern. When you partner with a company specializing in product protection, they should be able to take on the customer service load for any protection questions or claims. Between dedicated phone, email, and chat support; an always available dashboard for plan and claim details; and real-time claim approvals and resolutions 24/7; your product protection partner has the ability to deliver an amazing customer experience that reflects positively on your brand.

Flexibility

Strict return policies can keep customers from making a purchase, and if they do follow through, can make for some very angry customers if the product doesn’t work out for them. Flexibility matters a lot to customers - and that goes for their products as well as their product protection.

Being able to easily cancel the protection plan or transfer it for a product purchased as a gift can be a big benefit. And having flexibility in claim resolutions - for example, having the option to replace the item if a repair doesn’t work - can be a big benefit too.

Extended warranties touch on so many different customer priorities when it comes to making ecommerce purchases, especially for expensive items. From long term protection for high quality products to a great customer service experience with fast and flexible support, extended warranties have the potential to deliver a great experience for your customers and contribute to greater brand loyalty.

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Ellie Mirman

About the author

Ellie Mirman is CMO at Mulberry. She has over a decade of experience building and scaling marketing at high-growth tech companies, including HubSpot and Toast. When she's not digging into the latest ecommerce trends, you can find her in the kitchen trying out a new cookie recipe.

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