Smoke Cartel was founded in Savannah, GA in 2013 by two art students on a mission to build a better headshop experience online. From the beginning, Smoke Cartel built a name for itself as the “Headshop for Humans,” focusing on delivering top-class customer service and high product quality at affordable prices.
Smoke Cartel is now home to one of the largest catalogs of vaporizers, glass, and counterculture accessories, shipping products worldwide from over 200 suppliers.
Operating in a fast-growing and highly competitive space, Smoke Cartel was looking to differentiate themselves and improve their customer experience with product protection: “The reality is we’re selling a lot of glassware,” explains Steve Forman, Sr. Director of Operations at Smoke Cartel. “It’s likely going to break and that’s probably why many of our customers are shopping for new glassware in the first place. Having great coverage helps us stand out in a crowded market.”
They initially launched an in-house glass protection program, but decided to explore other product protection options as they realized they wanted to improve their offer to customers. Very early in their search process, Smoke Cartel saw that many of the legacy insurance companies were not able to offer coverage for their customers that would include the most important component: glass. “We initially worked with another company, but soon realized they wouldn’t be able to cover glass,” Forman explained. “Their underwriter just couldn’t build the program we needed in a realistic timeframe.” Smoke Cartel needed to find another partner who could quickly build a customized program and give Smoke Cartel customers the coverage they were looking for.
“We’re in a competitive market where customers can buy from their local dispensary, headshop, or any number of new online stores. Product protection isn’t the primary product we sell, but if we can get the right coverage for our customers, it absolutely will help us sell our products more efficiently.”
- Steve Forman, Sr. Director of Operations
Smoke Cartel worked closely with Mulberry to define a program with glass coverage and Mulberry delivered, quickly launching a new program that was tailored to Smoke Cartel customers. “Josh and the Mulberry team were all over it from the start,” said Forman. “The integration was well done in terms of speed to launch, proactive recommendations, and transparent communication.”
Within weeks, leveraging Mulberry’s pre-built Shopify app, Smoke Cartel launched their new program giving customers protection for products across their catalog. Most importantly, they were able to offer accidental damage protection for glassware, which customers can add to their purchase at several points in their checkout process. “Our primary concern is featuring our products. Mulberry’s widgets helped us feature our glassware while clearly communicating accident protection as another important value-add to customers.”
Once customers checkout with their protection plan, Mulberry handles all support end-to-end. Should a customer accidentally break their glassware, they can file a claim in minutes through a seamless digital process and work with the Mulberry team to reach a customized resolution from free replacement products to cash reimbursements.
As Smoke Cartel anticipated, the accident protection program was very popular with their customers. “When customers are spending $100, $200, or more on a nice piece of glass, we expect them to purchase accident protection because they want their purchase to last,” Forman said. Accident protection was heavily adopted even by customers purchasing less expensive products. Overall, Smoke Cartel saw a 7% attachment rate with the average price of covered products below $65, 3 times the industry average.
For customers who purchased product protection, the Mulberry team was able to deliver high-quality service and a delightful experience. Over 98% of claims from Smoke Cartel customers have been approved to date with claims being completely resolved in less than 5 days on average. “With Mulberry’s coverage, there is real peace of mind for our customers,” Forman said. “If they break their products, they know they can get the same thing with no stress, delays, or fees.”
“Thank you so much Sandy! Much appreciated! You have no clue how much this means to me. I’m usually overly careful about all of my things. I literally cried ($336) I lost. I had no idea how hard it would be dealing with you guys but it was simple and very easy. Thank you.”
- Bryan M, Smoke Cartel Customer
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