How to Skyrocket Sales with Automated Ecommerce Warranty Claims
For most businesses, the quest for more sales is pivotal to success and necessary for survival. However, ecommerce retailers tend to focus their attention on product quality, marketing strategy, order fulfillment and sales channels when seeking ways to attract more customers.
While these areas are all crucial to a company’s ability to convert shoppers, they overlook an equally important aspect of the buyer-seller relationship. To fully maximize sales potential, companies need to place just as much emphasis on post-purchase processes.
Living up to a customer’s expectations after a sale and addressing problems that inevitably arise can have a significant impact on loyalty and dramatically increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
One of the best ways that a business can implement a customer-first approach to sales satisfaction is by automating warranty claims, including third-party warranty claims. First, a streamlined warranty system improves the customer experience by creating a user-friendly experience and offers more resolution options that benefit the buyer and seller.
Streamlining data collection that is otherwise ignored by manual systems supports analysis and reveals data insights that can bolster marketing efforts and lead to new consumer targets. Finally, with proper integration, an automated warranty program can reduce labor expenses and identify costly deficiencies sooner so companies can address them more quickly.
Ready to learn more about the advantages of automated warranties and how they can boost sales from new and existing customers? Then let’s take a deeper dive into each one.
Create a Better Shopper Experience and Reduce Customer Friction
The vast majority of Shopify sellers currently rely on a manual process when a customer returns a product under warranty. Sometimes, the warranty workflow is completely siloed from other types of returns, such as exchanges, store credit or refunds.
The consequence of this traditional method is higher costs, more confusion, annoying procedures and missed opportunities. In fact, data shows that manually managing a warranty return requires an average of 10 touchpoints, takes 15 minutes, and costs your company $5 per claim.
The additional time and cost are primarily due to a lack of accessible, accurate information about a product’s warranty coverage, the difficulty keeping track of a customer’s information and documentation throughout the process and the challenges of updating the buyer with the latest information about the claim.
While retailers may believe the downsides of a manual returns process are offset by the flexibility and control it offers, the reality is much different. An automated warranty program doesn’t mean that more ineligible claims will be approved or that your ability to review customer complaints will end.
Eliminate the Hassle with an Automated Warranty Returns Process
Instead, an automated returns process can be customized to address the legitimate concerns of retailers while still eliminating the hassle and constraints of a manual alternative. Automation can help authenticate claims by matching warranty requests to purchases, requiring the upload of proof of purchase for third-party sales, or allowing customers to submit photos to evaluate the prospect of a repair.
In addition, automation can optimize the shipping and handling requirements that are integral to most warranty claims. A comprehensive warranty returns software can facilitate the shipping label creation process and simplify coordination with manufacturers or suppliers to ensure replacement products are sent out promptly.
Most importantly, these features can be integrated into an online portal for shoppers that empowers them to initiate warranty claims independently. This is usually the most convenient option for buyers who want to submit an RMA meaning it’s potentially under warranty. A convenient self-serve warranty request process shows a commitment to customer satisfaction that builds confidence and leads to profitable loyalty.
An automated warranty returns process can also expand the impact of existing customer relationship management (CRM) software and help desk tools like Gorgias, Gladly or Zendesk. The syncing of a convenient claims portal and existing customer communication tools lets you better manage customer interactions around the warranty workflow.
It can unlock a seamless ability to send emails or text messages about a product’s warranty coverage or promote the release of relevant new products. Similarly, help desk integration can support real-time communication with shoppers to complete a claim faster or preempt a claim through live website chat support.
Customize Your Automated Warranty Options to Keep Profits in Your Pocket
Customers love options, and retailers are happy to provide them as long as they benefit the business too. A warranty claim that ends in a refund is essentially a lost sale. A customer unhappy with their warranty resolution is unlikely to buy from the company in the future. Fortunately, an automated warranty can help sellers keep the customers they have through expanded warranty options.
Expanded warranties are a tool retailers can use to offer solutions beyond a traditional refund or replacement. In an automated warranty process, ecommerce businesses can maintain the sale by encouraging customers to opt for a comparable, but not exact, replacement or even upgrade their original purchase. Retailers can use expanded warranties to leave a positive impression after a claim in several ways.
A well-designed system can offer additional options. These include:
- Product registration from third-party channels – Customers who purchase a product from outside of your Shopify store can visit your website and enter details about the transaction and item to register that product. They then become eligible for replacement or repair under the product’s warranty policy.
- Shopping for a full catalog replacement – Instead of replacing the defective item with an identical one in good condition, customers can pay the difference to upgrade to a more expensive model or a complementary item from your product line.
- Overselling your inventory – If, however, the customer is adamant about receiving the same product that they originally purchased and it is currently out of stock, automation and expanded warranties can work together to provide a solution. Overselling your inventory can allow you to still process the warranty claim. At the same time, automation can keep the customer apprised of the product’s status and send updates about when the replacement is expected to become available.
- Initiating an out-of-stock contact – Another alternative for out-of-stock replacements is to create a workflow that notifies your sales or customer service team when a warranty claim for an unavailable item is submitted. Your trained representative can then reach out to the dissatisfied customer to evaluate the situation and navigate the customer to a suitable resolution.
Use Warranty and Third-Party Product Registrations to Enhance Your Marketing
Now that you understand how automated warranty returns can help you keep your current customers, let’s move on to the ways it supports your search for new buyers.
For many companies, a reliable path to higher sales is to expand the channels they use to sell. But managing third-party warranty returns from sales on Amazon, Walmart, and eBay simultaneously can be a nightmare. This is where a third-party warranty program, commonly referred to as product registration, comes in.
Third-party product registration requires buyers who purchased from a third-party channel to provide customer contact information and details about the transaction and purchased item to receive warranty benefits. It’s a smart tactic for retailers because it allows them to grow their marketing lists through registration opt-ins.
Emails and text messages are ideal for direct engagement and moving leads along your sales pipeline. However, convincing customers to opt-in to your company’s digital communication can often be challenging.
Even if they trust the brand, opting into promotions may not be a priority. But registering their product for a warranty return can increase the chances that they agree to receive promotional communication. This simple step can steadily boost your marketing audience thanks to the valuable permission to engage.
Rather than stay in the dark about these sales occurring in other marketplaces, the data on what they bought, when they bought it, their contact information and more can be used to market to those customers and, ideally, develop repeat shoppers.
It can also aid your team in segmenting and creating tailored messages. Among ReturnLogic retailers, about 25% of warranty claims originate from third-party buyers, so without an automated third-party warranty program, a lot of valuable marketing data can be wasted.
Leverage Warranty Claim Data to Protect Your Brand and Product Integrity
Your company should be able to easily spot problems related to the manufacturing and shipping of your products and your customers’ satisfaction. Otherwise, unhappy customers and a steady stream of poor reviews can easily derail sales growth.
Warranty claims only happen when there’s a problem. They aren’t a function of poor fit or mismatched expectations like other types of returns. But tracking warranty returns using a manual method and simple spreadsheets is unlikely to reveal a faulty SKU or manufacturing defect. Automation provides the insights necessary to spotlight troubling trends and guide data-driven decisions.
Furthermore, a poor warranty returns experience stemming from the flaws in a manual process will lead to customer churn. But you lose more than that particular sale. You will face a drop in CLV as those shoppers’ future purchases also evaporate. To make matters worse, a lack of automation and data collection can compound the problem if you don’t recognize that a customer churned and end up spending more marketing dollars on them.
Use Warranty Returns Data to Improve Customer Retention
Automating warranty returns allows your business to focus on retention and strategies that can increase average order value and boost CLV. And reaching those goals starts with utilizing warranty disposition data effectively.
Access to a macro view of why customers submit warranty claims helps retailers tremendously. The data can help determine which products are most likely to be returned due to defects and inform future decisions about which products to carry. It can also determine what manufacturers are reliable and potentially reduce the number of warranty returns.
Disposition data analysis also allows retailers to evaluate their quality control processes and minimize the number of defective products sold to customers. Sharing this information with suppliers creates a collaborative relationship with important partners and can eliminate some issues spurring warranty claims.
Obviously, fewer problems with your products will increase customer satisfaction and is likely to be reflected in positive word-of-mouth endorsements and online reviews. Both of which will drive your sales growth and brand reputation.
Lastly, warranty claims are expensive. The costs of shipping items back and forth and communicating with customers quickly add up. We estimate that automation can save $3,750 per 1000 warranty returns, but avoiding warranty returns entirely saves even more. Of course, every dollar saved can be used in other areas of your business, aimed more directly at reaching your sales goals.
ReturnLogic can be your Fuel for Skyrocketing Ecommerce Sales
If you’re ready to make warranty returns a new path to higher sales, ReturnLogic can lead the way. We understand the complexities of succeeding as a merchant because we used to be one too. That experience now inspires our passion for delivering proven warranty returns technology designed to enhance the shopper experience, improve operational efficiency, and grow profits.
Learn how our technology and integrations can eliminate data silos and build solutions that can scale with your company, even when your sales takeoff faster than you thought possible. Schedule your free ecommerce returns audit today.