It's a concept as old as business itself: meet your customers where they are.
The proliferation of multichannel commerce is driven by online brands who recognize that physical stores and third-party sales channels have a lot to offer.
Customers are able to research and purchase products wherever, whenever, and however they choose. And, if done correctly, brands still gain the benefit.
Our team spoke with Chad Rubin - the Co-Founder and CEO of Skubana, a leading multichannel operations platform - to get a complete perspective of multichannel sales and returns.
For many ecommerce brands, the website is the epicenter of the business.
The ecommerce website is a streamlined and highly optimized conversion path, designed to greet and engage visitors, help them find something they'll love, and seamlessly make a purchase.
The problem is, your potential customers are not always on your website. In fact, most of the time, they're not on your ecommerce site.
But there are still plenty of ways to reach your customers.
Whether it's a marketplace, retail location, or your online store, it's crucial to be accessible for customers where and how they want to interact with you.
In terms of online marketplaces, no name comes close to Amazon. As of December 2019, Amazon averaged 214.8 million visitors per month in the United States.
Yet, only around 16% of retail shopping is done online. Consumers still like to shop in stores, including the retail giants.
Especially in terms of retail presence, Walmart is dominant. It's estimated that Walmart is able to serve 265 million customers each week.
Add Target to the conversation, and you have a combination of retail titans that can seemingly reach the entire US population.
It's more important than ever to be accessible to your customers and to reach your customers where they are.
This allows shoppers to interact with your brand on their own terms:
to research and buy where they want, when they want, in the way that works best for them.
But, what happens when a customer wants to returns a product they bought through a third-party retail partner, especially in the case of a warranty?
Most third-party sales channels have default return policies, allowing customers to return products within a certain period of time.
But this process falls short in the case of an extended warranty.
You may have a warranty program that covers products even after the standard return window in the case of a defect.
But most likely, you have no record of the customer purchasing the product from the third-party, and thus you have no way to start a return.
When the customer reaches out to your customer service team, you either have to confirm the purchase and product details yourself, or simply trust the customer.
As a result, third-party warranties often require excessive emails and spreadsheets or custom solutions costing tens of thousands of dollars. And, they are extremely inefficient and highly susceptible to returns fraud.
ReturnLogic developed the capability of third-party warranties, enabling customers to start their own warranty claims, whether they purchased the product directly from the brand's website or from a retail partner.
With just a couple of clicks, the customer can initiate a warranty claim, input their information, and get a return shipping label.
You, as the brand, even have the option to require an uploaded image of the receipt, to lessen the chance of fraudulent returns.
The customer is empowered to start a warranty claim whenever and wherever they want, and they don't have to go through a long process first.
We know that reliable and effective operations are the foundation of the customer experience. It's difficult to impress customers if you can't live up to the promises and expectations that have been set.
With third-party warranties, you can ensure a smooth and consistent experience for your customers, regardless of where they shop.
ReturnLogic can enable you to accept third-party warranties, and manage the rest of your ecommerce returns, as well. If you want to take control of your multichannel returns, schedule a time to speak with a returns expert.