Value-added Services to Build Consumer Trust & Increase Profitability

Mar 3, 2022 3:00 pm4:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Every consumer has purchased something that broke or failed before it should have, whether from accidents, defects, or unknown causes. This is one of the top pain points driving consumer buying habits and should be at the forefront of concerns for merchants selling physical products.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant speaks with Rohan Shah, Founder and Head of BD and Partnerships at Extend, about how its services can benefit many types of merchants. Rohan talks about how Extend takes all of the liability, workload, and frustration of handling protection plans off the merchant’s plate. He explains how Extend provides a smooth and positive post-purchase experience to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and to boost merchants’ top-line sales.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Rohan Shah explains what Extend does
  • Can extended warranties and value-added services solve customer pain points and build lifetime value (LTV)?
  • Rohan discusses how Extend customizes programs vertically for value-based plans and solutions
  • How product protection plans increase top-line growth
  • How Extend increases back-end revenue for retailers
  • What part does the merchant play in the warranty process when something breaks?
  • What demographic is buying extended warranties?
  • The difference in expectations as it relates to the individual product and its warranty
  • How Extend moves beyond warranties into the role of business consultant
  • The importance of mapping out the customer journey
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Event Partners

Extend

Extend uses technology to modernize the warranty industry. Their platform was built to enable any merchant to offer protection plans – regardless of size.

Connect with Extend

Guest Speakers

Rohan Shah

Founder, Head of BD & Partnerships at Extend

Rohan Shah is the Founder and Head of BD and Partnerships at Extend, an LVT firm for merchants. Extend focuses on the post-purchase experience and solving customer pain points and touchpoints after the point-of-sale. The focus is on extended warranties and product protection.

Rohan has worked in many commerce positions, including strategic marketing, product management, business development, and partnerships. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University. In 2021, at age 28, Rohan was recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Event Moderator

Rohan Shah

Founder, Head of BD & Partnerships at Extend

Rohan Shah is the Founder and Head of BD and Partnerships at Extend, an LVT firm for merchants. Extend focuses on the post-purchase experience and solving customer pain points and touchpoints after the point-of-sale. The focus is on extended warranties and product protection.

Rohan has worked in many commerce positions, including strategic marketing, product management, business development, and partnerships. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University. In 2021, at age 28, Rohan was recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect


BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18  

Happy Thursday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder Managing Director here at BWG Connect. We're giant networking knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands to do exactly that we network and now we share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, you know, news developments, whatever it is that shaping digital as a whole, I spend a good chunk of my time talking to brands 30 or 40 a week to stay on top of those trends. And when the same topics come up over and over again, that's how we get topics for these calls, or dinners or in person or full day or networking events of any kind. You know, if anybody like to have a conversation, we'd love to jump on the phone with you, you know, sometime in the next couple weeks or next month or so, just kind of listen to Hey, what are you trying to solve for? We're a great resource as well, if you're looking for any kind of service providers whatsoever, we use the network to vet out who those are. So you don't have to do a Google search anymore. If it's anything on the Amazon, the direct to consumer international expansion, drop shipping, anything to do with digital or eCommerce don't hesitate. I'm help, I'm more than happy to shoot you over the top recommended people. That's also where we get the experts for our calls as well is the highest recommended people in this space. And so housekeeping items as we get started. Number one, we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. You have any questions at all along the way dropping them in the chat, you can drop into the q&a or you can drop an email directly to me Aaron@BWGConnect.com. And the other thing is we're starting this you know, four to five minutes after the hour and try to wrap it up before to five minutes to go on the hour as well just so everybody knows you're gonna have plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late. So that I want to kind of kick it off. With everybody's concerned right now, I would say everybody, but there's a huge push right now for, you know, how do we maximize lifetime value of a customer? How do we maximize customer retention customer experience customer satisfaction across the board? But how can we do it profitably? Right? And so there's been this huge push to direct consumer and then push the Hey, how do we maximize that as a profit channel as a whole. And so you know, we got some great friends, partners supporters, the network overextend now, Rohan been a great friend for years now. You know, and that's kind of where we got into this, you know, topic of value added services to build consumer trust increased profitability. And so again, you have any questions along the way, just drop them into the chat or the q&a, we'll get them answered. But you know, Rohan, if you want to jump in, you know, a brief intro on yourself and Extend would be awesome. And then we can kind of jump into the conversation sound good.

 

Rohan Shah  2:59  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, first off, Aaron, appreciate you and your entire team. I know how much work goes into hosting these. So thank you. And thank you to everyone who's joining. I know, I know, everyone's busy these days with Zoom calls. But so my name is Rohan on one of the founders that Extend I head up all of our enterprise BD partnerships as well as product strategy. So like Aaron, spend a lot of my time talking to a lot of our brand partners, brand prospects and folks that we work with here at Extend. But really what Extend is is we're an LTV tool for merchants, we focus on the post purchase experience and solving customer pain points and touch points after the point of sale. Specifically, what we do is focus on extended warranties and product protection. So oftentimes customers will go through checkout, think about hey, do I want to buy this product, there's a million tools out there that focus on customer acquisition and customer conversion through the purchase funnel, we really help give customers peace of mind that once they buy a product, if anything were to go wrong, the brand the retailer and Extend have their back. So what we do is we help customers sell these extended warranties and protection plans at the point of sale and through the checkout journey. Their pure margin revenue and profit for our retail partners who sell these policies and plans, Extend them takes care of all of the back office underwriting insurance claims administration claims handling and then fulfillment. So if I when I typically do which has dropped my cell phone, right product will crack or break, maybe I drop some water on it, we will handle those claims and then get customers back to your website so that they can get a net new product and then working product. Ultimately what these programs do is drive LTV, revenue, profit and loyalty. We want to keep customers within your ecosystem and we do that by solving pain points that they have after the point of sale.

 

Aaron Conant  4:44  

Awesome. So any, like major changes that you've seen, you know, during the pandemic and now as we come out of it, you know, from extended warranty standpoint, you know, I also see you know some similarities to You know, basically, the subscription, you know, category as well, where people are more apt to do it. But also they have brands, and manufacturers using that as a marketing channel almost as well in follow up emails or to curate a relationship. Anyways. So I'd love to hear your thoughts around, like, what trends have you seen in this space? And then we can talk about any changes that have been made. And then, you know, curation around a relationship is come up on a ton of my calls. I don't know if you're seeing the same thing. 

 

Rohan Shah  5:35  

But we are. I mean, you I think, during the midst of when COVID was first starting, people were like, how do I keep up with demand? Right? eCommerce growth is going crazy, selling a bunch of products online more than we maybe were previously. And so it was really keeping up with that. I think what people quickly realize is, hey, we just had all these new customers that have bought products from us, how do we keep them in our ecosystem? How do we, to your point, Aaron, build a relationship with these customers? I think I've told you this story before. But you know, someone someone was mentioned to me, he was a in the C suite at Samsung. And he said, what we think about constantly is, how do we have a dialogue with our customers, building a relationship with someone is built off of a dialogue. It's not built off of a transaction. I think subscription is one full form factor, how you build a dialogue with someone, you now have a touch point with them every single month, or every single year, depending on what type of program it is or membership it is. We also look at dialogues as solving customer pain points after the point of sale. So how do I now keep those folks within my ecosystem? What are some of the experiences that they're going to have around my product that I can use to engage with them, it won't always be me selling a net new product to them. And it can't always be me selling a net new product to them. That turns me into the sleazy sales guy, right. And that's a ethos and a brand that merchants need to build with their customer base. So it's not just extending the extended warranty solutions, there's so many things that merchants are doing now to better engage better service better communicate with their customers, we see value added services as the differentiator there. If you think about folks like Amazon, and Walmart, who have done an amazing job building up value added services across their customer base and across their customer journey, those are really the differentiators that customers continue to think about as why they want to come back and purchase again from those retailers. So we think value added services is a big component of that relationship building exercise. I think it's also just putting yourself in your customers shoes and thinking about what that journey looks like both how they get to your website and how they buy a product. But then also what happens after that point of sale? 

 

Aaron Conant  7:48  

No, I mean, that's it. I completely agree from that standpoint of like, you know, and I've said this a few times on the different, you know, sessions that we've done is, like, we're past digital 2.0, which was Do you have all the check boxes checked? By? Have you done everything? And we're moving rapidly into this phase? Now? Where are you looking at everything holistically in our Mac? Are you maximizing the potential of each one of those, because at the end of the day, it is a relationship? And it's blending together? Those value added? Whether it is an extended in a warranty? And how do you communicate that if they don't buy one? Do you utilize that as a friendly email that goes out a friendly SMS? But another way is that customer touch point? And then, you know, what is your tech stack on the back end that allows you to communicate? And then what are you communicating? And it like, again, getting into the subscription payments, getting into, you know, different? You know, buy now pay later solutions? Right? How is everything in the backend working together, so that you have a conversation with a person, right, and with a customer that's meaningful to them to develop that relationship? And they say, Hey, I really liked this brand. Because XYZ, right? They talked to me the way I needed to be talked to. And so that's super interesting, as a whole. Especially I see now, there's a lot of questions around CDP's coming up, and how everything gets tied in together on the back end, and you know, where you sit? It's just like one more opportunity that people need to have in place if it's appropriate. Right, like, how do you like, where do extended warranties come in? And where do they not come in? And then no matter if it comes in or not? I mean, a lot of the conversation that we're having is just directly applicable, how do you use value added solutions, whatever it might be, to increase the customer touchpoints and the amount of contact and conversation you're having with them. But, you know, where do you guys fit in? Like, you know, I mean, we talked about this like backpacks before, does that make sense? Does that not make sense? We've talked about you know, electronics and home goods and everything else but furniture like we'd love to hear your your thoughts there.

 

Rohan Shah  9:57  

Yeah, you know, it's different. It's so interesting because like customer journeys are so different based on like, what product you're talking about. When I buy a pair of headphones, I have very different expectations for that product, the usage of it, how long it's gonna last compared to when I buy a 2000 $3,000 couch, right. So to your point, exactly, wildly different expectations, we look at everything from a vertical perspective, when someone buys an engagement ring versus a couch versus a pair of headphones, what they want out of that program is incredibly different. As I think I've mentioned to you, Aaron, we we took a pretty hard stance early on that A, you need to be able to control the customer journey from end to end and not be farming anything out to third parties. And then B, you really need to think about what the program is relevant to that product type. For engagement rings, we offer a lifetime plan, we're not going to do a lifetime plan for a pair of headphones, because that doesn't make sense. So very vertical, specific, very product specific in our makeup of how we look at like what ultimate value are we delivering to the customer. I think what that ends up translating into and sort of our mantra internally is an informed customer is more likely to convert customer. If you're educating them and solving some of the questions answering some of the questions or solving some of the pain points that they have through the journey, you end up reducing the amount of friction that they have, they are more likely to convert, and then ultimately, you can then start to build a relationship with them. If they don't buy a product, you've lost that opportunity. That's where solutions like buy now pay later come into play. Hey, it's $1,000 product? Do I really want to pay for it all out of pocket on my credit card? Or do I want to finance it? Or do it in for payments, installments, etc using affirm, Klarna afterpay? What have you. So there's a lot of like, there's effectively a tech stack that we look at with a lot of our partners that have been successful. And I've continued to see pretty tremendous growth. And that tech stack is a needs to be built on a platform where you can integrate new solutions continually. But be really mirrors again, and I keep talking about it. But that customer journey and outlining sort of how do we reduce friction for customers throughout that process? I don't know if that answer your question. 

 

Aaron Conant  11:29  

No, it does, um, you but I think of like, if we get into the Buy Now pay later stack, you know, it's basically alternative payment methods that allow it we're gonna spoil me now customer level, right, that's what they want. They want everything in one, two days, they want it to be personalized. But they don't want the app to track you. So you can really, really personalize, right? So they want you to cut it, this game of like cat and mouse like, hey, it's more fun. If you figure out and you really guess which is not so different, right? I mean that you think about the gifting side, right? You want somebody to know you so well, they get a gift without you having to ask for it that you absolutely love. And so that's what these I think that that personal relationship with a brand. But then I think, you know from the subscription side, you can pick how often you want it like, then you're doing the same thing on the extended warranty side where you can customize what you want. Like I don't, I don't necessarily want it to be a blanket, I and I mean that a lot of that is up to the brand. And it's also, you know, then up to the customer and then the brand then has to decide, you know how they want to present that or roll it out. Like you see any like trends and customization of extended warranty programs.

 

Rohan Shah  13:25  

100% Um, so it's funny, you mentioned like how customers in the gifting modality can can sort of have a behavior that way. I think all of us operate that way, just to be clear, right? So both end customers, as well as brands and merchants, everyone wants things to be specific to them. And the reality is, is I can never sit there talking to a brand and pretend that I know their customers better than they do. It's a reality they know them through and through. Do we have a lot of learnings and a lot of insights across different categories verticals and types of retailers? Of course, no doubt. I you know, I call myself a recovering consultant. So we can bring a lot of those a lot of those perspectives to the table. But at the end of the day, we look at our sales process as a consulting process. We're there to learn about what their customers are experiencing around product types. We're there to learn about what the lifecycle on these products actually look like so we can customize a program for them. You know, we work with a partner iRobot if you're familiar with them, they have the little Roomba, Zumba thingies that run around and eat dirt off your floor when we talk to them, their customer support team. So the number one issue our customers face is the little Roomba will drive over dog poop or cat pee and will break. So from that perspective, what did we do? We went back to the drawing board. 20 days later, we came back with a program that covered animal biohazard. And then we went and marketed in merchandise that through the purchase flow, which did a couple of things a it increased conversion, because you're now solving a customer pain point where they're like I have a dog at home. What happens if it breaks as a result of that? And then two, you're actually seeing higher performance of the warranty program as well. So more customers are we call Attach rates, but more customers are attaching the protection plans to their purchase, because it's directly solving an issue or a concern that they have around usage of the product itself. So 100%, you know, I won't say that every single partner within our portfolio, we work with over 800 merchants is a completely customized program. But that's largely because they don't need to have a completely customized program, what they need is something that's specifically tailored and trained to their product type, and then delivers that end value to the customer. I think all of us have probably had an experience of hey, my products not working, what do I do now reach out to the brand, and it takes days before you actually get some sort of resolution. We remove that risk and that liability from a dollars perspective, but then also improve upon that customer experience and customer satisfaction, because that's what we focus on day in and day out, is how do you handle customers properly after that point of sale, when something goes wrong. I use the analogy of if you go to a restaurant, and they mess up your order, there's like one of two things that happens typically, sometimes they'll take 20 minutes, not say sorry, bring you out another plate and you're not really happy. And you're probably not going to go back to the restaurant, even if the food was solid. But if they run you a free cocktail and a free dessert, say sorry, are really authentic, and how they deal with you the way that your family would or a friend would, you're almost definitely gonna go back to that restaurant, because they've turned that negative experience into a positive one for you. And people get that things go wrong. They just want to be taken care of in those situations.

 

Aaron Conant  16:31  

You, so do you find people using, like, your platform to initiate additional conversations? Like to bring them back? You know, bring them into a conversation whether they bought one? I mean, it seems pretty natural, right? Because it's not a, hey, come get 35% off? It's not you know, that's happening a lot. And then do you see it happening more via text more via email? Like? How can people leverage you to get more customer touchpoints and therefore more customer stickiness? And then you're right, like, I think then it goes into customer satisfaction. Right? If it broke, and it's really quick to get it replaced, then hey, you salvaged it, right? Because I think everybody, everything breaks at some point in time. But anyways, you know, the first one is kind of like, are you seeing people use you specifically? I mean, there's the added value of you know, there's there's a monetization side of what you do, so they make more money, but also, to get more conversations going to get more sticky.

 

Rohan Shah  17:41  

Yeah, we look at it both from like a net new perspective and moving forward. So once you integrate Extend on your website, you're selling protection plans and extended warranties, and to your point, you're monetizing that right and driving pure margin revenue through that modality. If a customer goes through the checkout flow and doesn't add the extended warranty, we have remarketing campaigns that we enable for our partners. So they can send touch points after the point of sale. So immediately upon your product being delivered, Hey, Aaron, congrats on your new pair of headphones, make sure to click here to protect yourself from accidents, spills, drops and cracks, right? Something to reengage with that customer as a touch point around the product that they've just purchased. What we also do, though, that I find pretty exciting, is we also look back to the install base. So we have a partner, I won't mention exactly who just so I can share some data, but they sell a $2,000 you know, sort of office equipment device. Um, we looked back at their install base after taking them live. And we sent an email to customers who had purchased in the last 12 to 18 months. In 30 days, we did over a million and a half dollars in sales, just because customers were looking for this when they purchase the product. And were finally given the opportunity to engage around it. Those customers then came back to the website to buy the extended warranty or protection plan. And guess what folks were buying accessories to they were buying additional products on top, because now you have them back in the shopping experience, you haven't been a native experience that they're familiar with and used to. So 100% We use it all the time as a reengagement tool and remarketing tool. Ultimately, in you think back to how I started off the conversation, which is we're an LTV driver, we look at ourselves as an LTV driver, both from a profit perspective, but then also from a reengagement, and customer lifecycle perspective as well.

 

Aaron Conant  19:27  

What are the profit driver? Where does that come from? So they're just it's I mean, it's extended warranty. Right? So there's a profit split on the sale price with between you and the merchant?

 

Rohan Shah  19:40  

Exactly. Yeah. So I mean, I'll give you a fun stat. I think it was in 2018 or 19, Best Buy to 2% of their top line revenue in the sale of extended warranties that 2% of their top line translated into 52% of their net income or profit. So over half of their profit came from the sale of extended warranties now I'm not saying everyone should be as pushy as at times as Best Buy sales reps are around extended warranties. But the reality here is that there's a massive bottom line impact to these programs. The reason why is because customers a are looking for these extended warranties and protection plans. And a portion of every sale goes directly to the retailer's bottom line. It's pure profit, we handle all the risk as the underwriter and in the insurance company behind it. We also handle all the claims and performance obligations as it relates to that policy. So it's really purely incremental to merchants and brands that we work with. Typically, you're looking at about a 2% top line growth, just by turning on the solution, which in many cases we can do in a matter of days, when folks are on sort of normal eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, etc. Or a few weeks if it's a more custom bespoke platform itself. So purely incremental from a monetization perspective. And every retailer gets a cut of every single transaction. I also, from a partnership perspective, you know, we don't make money till customers are buying these extended warranties and protection plans. We don't charge monthly or annual fees. We don't charge setup costs. Really, the goal is to make you know, my customers journey, who is the merchant have the least friction possible to get up and running with these programs.

 

Aaron Conant  21:19  

So easy... awesome. So easy plugin that increases bottom line. Giving 

 

Rohan Shah  21:26  

My job is easy. What I'm talking about, right? Purely incremental, do you want to throw another 2% on your top line? You know, folks use us in a variety of different situations, whether they're thinking about fundraising, thinking about the customer experience, thinking about how they're driving profitability, and LTV. It just fits across so many different parts of the business conversion, we had one partner of ours that saw 13% site wide increase to conversion with the presence of the extended warranty offer, just because customers had more peace of mind that their portable device that they are purchasing from this brand, or from this brand, that they were covered in those situations, and the pricing is all relative as well. So whether it's a $40 product, and your warranty costs three, four bucks, or if it's a $4,000 product and your warranty costs, you know, 200 250 bucks, it's all relative based on that price point, which gives customers the appetite and the consideration by

 

Aaron Conant  22:16  

then you just walk through and help everybody figure out what that pricing should be so that there's not like a sticker shock to the end consumer. Everything's in line with what they would traditionally see anyplace else. And it's just a natural flow and conversion at checkout.

 

Rohan Shah  22:30  

Exactly, yeah. So we both look at market data around where things are priced in the market at competing retailers or for relevant products that are similar. But I also have a team of 25 to 30 folks on the data science and machine learning side. So they're looking across our portfolio to glean insights around where can we really fix pricing, change pricing, to maximize ultimately revenue, you can price something super, super, super low and get a high attach rate, but you may not be maximizing revenue. So it's really that sweet spot of how many customers are converting and at what price point. So we do that for our partners. Again, what we want is a fully managed program where you don't need to hire someone to manage your extended warranty program. That's why you work with us. And so it's it's seamless from the merchant experience perspective.

 

Aaron Conant  23:17  

Yeah, so a question that comes in, is around I'll say this one is, you know, how would it work for apparel? This one is shoes as a whole. You know, because it was just really interesting, because we just had this conversation. On the subscription side, we did a dinner around subscriptions. And, you know, people had brought up even like his shoes, and it wasn't applicable. And then five people raised their hand and said, Actually, I'm a runner. Like, and I run consistently, they I know, I hit my mileage marker at six months, or I hit it at a year. So are there any If we extrapolate this question a little bit? You know, like, what are the best verticals? Because I think in my mind, that kind of translated into the beginning of buy now pay later if you're like, Ah, I don't want to add that my my, my price is at point is too low. I'm not the right category, people wouldn't use it. And then you finally get to the point where like, no people are using this like it's a credit card. It's just helps people convert at checkout quicker. And this almost seems there. But so where would the categories fall that hey, it's a sweet spot. And we're the ones where it's kind of like that I have another question that comes in, around, you know, retailer versus D2C but we'll get to that next.

 

Rohan Shah  24:34  

Oh, yeah. So I'll start with the first one. It sounds like I might be getting a free pair of shoes too. So I appreciate that. But, uh, no, um,

 

Aaron Conant  24:44  

I just saw she's in school.

 

Rohan Shah  24:48  

What happens when you work in your bedroom? Um, no. So from a category perspective, look, there are categories that perform a lot better than others. You know, people always ask me so what's the AO V cut off in general? where customers actually want to buy this. So there's a pricing component to or AB component on the actual product itself. You know, I think categories wise electronics, consumer electronics is one that everyone sort of thinks of when they think about extended warranties. Furniture is a category that performs extremely well. So we have a number of large furniture partners and furniture retailers, both online and in store. Jewelry is another category that performs extremely well. Sports and Fitness Equipment. peloton, obviously a partner of ours. autoparts is another category that does extremely well appliances, another category that does extremely well glasses and sunglasses, another category that does extremely well. And then, you know, as the as the insurance company behind these programs, what we're also doing in many cases, is building custom programs around new product types. Candidly, and it's a great question, Stephen. You know, shoes have not traditionally had protection plans offered and sold on them. There aren't really any programs in the market, we can build a program around that we actually have built a program that covers customers around seam separation and tears as it relates to their shoes. So there's a lot of unique programs that we can take to market and test to understand what the customer impact and value prop resonate says. But then also, on the back end, what the claims actually looked at look like as well. Ultimately, some product categories have a much higher level of fraud than others. drones being a really good example. Because who knows if it was an accident, a manufacturer issue, or they just flew it into the water? Right? Um, so there's categories that work better and worse, no doubt, we would love obviously, and we can chat with anyone who wants to think about their catalogue. Because ultimately, what we find is people People often ask us the question of like, what can you cover? I think the better question often is like, what can’t we cover? Which largely that bucket is like food, and Bev and like T shirts and apparel like that?

 

Aaron Conant  26:54  

Awesome. So like, you mentioned autoparts. And going through, like some of the people that I see are on the call today. So autoparts I mean, yeah, I mean, that seems like rafter alley, you know, I was just told you, you were at a dinner like a biker band and they do 8 million skews. So I was asking them who they use. And they mentioned Extend, which is really cool. So that seems like all like pretty much, you know, straightforward. The furniture side? Can you highlight a little bit on that? And then I want to get into? Because I think there's a bunch of people that, you know, they're kind of sending in questions. What if I have my own retail store? So are you more retail focused? Are you more DTC focused? Are you more a blend focus? And so but but first, if you want to highlight, you know, from the furniture side, that'd be awesome. And then if others you have questions, drop into q&a or drop into the chat, we'll get them, we'll get them answered.

 

Rohan Shah  27:49  

Yeah, for sure. Furniture is a category that I'm incredibly excited about. First and foremost, a the performance that we've seen in the furniture category has been extremely strong. Be I think the customer value prop is extremely strong in the furniture space as well, largely because, I mean, again, everyone always has their own bias. And I think about my own experience, which is if I break a pair of headphones, like, I'm lucky that I can just go buy another pair, right? It's not the end of the world. For me personally, if I spill a glass of red wine on my couch, I have no idea how to take care of that, personally. And so furniture programs perform extremely well because we cover issues that customers often have rips, tears, stains, burns, even animal biohazards on furniture pieces as well mattress rugs, things like that. So furniture is a category that traditionally has had programs only in the top 1% of retailers, big box retailers that do furniture, we've signed up, you know over I think it's $10 billion of sales volume right now in the furniture space in growing extremely, extremely quickly because the customer value prop is just so strong. Awesome. Second question was around sort of retail stores versus online. I will say when we started the business we started largely online. It's a lot easier from a go to market perspective, a lot less operational. Since then we are now live in over 6000 brick and mortar locations across the United States. We are a fully omni channel partner for a lot of our retailers. And what I will say is the interesting i The interesting aspect of in store programs, unlike something like buy now pay later which is a little bit hard to educate customers on as they go through like an in store checkout experience. For extended warranties and protection plans they actually perform a hell of a lot better in store. We have some partners in like the furniture category use that as the example since we were just talking about it that converts at like 60 to 65% Attach rates 60 to 65% of customers are buying the protection plans. So if that's not validation enough that customers are looking for these programs I don't know what it is. So in store programs perform extremely well, they just take longer to set up and operationalize because there's in store collateral and marketing, there's training for store field reps and stuff like that, all of which we support, it just takes a little bit longer of a process rather than just a simple integration.

 

Aaron Conant  30:19  

So the question, so what's the liability to the retailer post purchase?

 

Rohan Shah  30:23  

Zero, that's the nice part is we take all the risk liability and performance obligations off of our brand and retailers books. So if any claims come in, actually the benefit, you sell a pair of headphones, those headphones break, we actually send a customer back to your website to buy another pair, and we pay for that extra that additional pair that replacement. So you're it's actually not even taking on liability, you're getting additional revenue on the back end when claims come in, in most cases. And we underwrite all of our programs, to a full replacement of the product. So if you spill something on your couch and tear it up, we'll actually replace the couch if we can't fix it. And we'll replace it by buying another one from the merchant of record, we bought the protection plan from initially.

 

Aaron Conant  31:07  

Now, you see people then going back and buying the extended warranty the second time around, because I'm thinking like a double monetization process as well.

 

Rohan Shah  31:16  

Over 50% Guess what, if you take care of customers and give them a great experience around something, they want to make sure that they're protected the next time too. So customers are often more than 50% of the time buying another protection plan on that replacement product as well. And that's why do we send them back to the website? Because then they also drop other products in their cart, and we're not monetizing that. That's all incremental to the retailer.

 

Aaron Conant  31:40  

I'm trying to struggle, I mean, outside of fashion, which does make sense, right, like, why wouldn't somebody plug it in?

 

Rohan Shah  31:47  

Yeah, not? You. I mean, you're asking the wrong person. No. No, I mean, I think if candidly, I think one of the biggest issues we face or obstacles we face is I don't get told no, very often I get told not now, I'm prioritization roadmap, and just the amount of things on brands and retailers plates right now, as they're thinking through the next, you know, two to five years of their company's growth curve. It's hard to get things slotted in, I think we solve some of those problems by making it really easy to turn it on. Like for folks on Shopify, I have 15 engineers that literally just do Shopify integrations for our merchants, to give them a copy of the theme. They go in, they do the technical work, and you as a business stakeholder WooCommerce as well, Stephen, yes, sir. Though, so those those business owners are making business decisions, they're not having to slot something in into the roadmap and take up some of their development resources. So keeping it super simple and streamlined for our partners helps overcome that obstacle at times. The reality is, is you know, people have stuff that they have as priorities, and we try to demonstrate why we might be a better priority than other things. But the reality is, is folks are going to focus on the things that they have in front of them if they have a number of items in front of them already. So that's the biggest cap like reason we don't turn them alive immediately.

 

Aaron Conant  33:09  

They're they're like new, neat, like verticals that you see. I mean, the customer is always changing. We talked about subscriptions, there's monthly plans, there's, you know, you sit at dinner and like, you know, like rent centers there and flex shoppers there. We'd love to hear like, how are you looking at different ways people are shopping now.

 

Rohan Shah  33:35  

Yeah, different ways people are shopping. I mean, I think financings always been a big one Buy now pay later for us. Why? Because customers can actually finance the protection plan as well. So you look at two to two and a half x the normal attach rates when customers use a buy now pay later solution because that $100 extended warranty is now being chopped up into four installments or 10 payments, whatever that might be. So that's a big one that we fit within. You know, rentals are unique in that they're much differently regulated from an insurance perspective around rentals. So that's an area that we haven't gotten into too much. Candidly, however, used products is one and certified refurb products is one where we do quite a bit today. And so folks who are selling the stock or certified refurb products can offer an extended warranty, which as you might imagine gives customers a lot more peace of mind around buying something that is used. We also do loyalty programs. I think that's a big top topic of conversation with a lot of our brands and retailers is I think it takes a certain level of maturity before implementing a loyalty program makes sense. You need a pretty large install base, and a pretty clear value proposition of why someone wants to join a loyalty program. However, once you have those fitting this within as a value added service for your loyal members can also be a really really great driver of the Getting people to adopt those programs as well. So loyalty programs is something that actually I come across quite a bit for the top of the market, the enterprise merchants we work with, I'm trying to think what else also, you know, new products, we'll be launching a new product in the next couple of in the next couple of weeks, actually, that does go outside and beyond what the normal parameters for extended warranties are. So apparel, food, and Bev, etc, will be included in that. And that's another protection service for customers that solves a pain point after the point of sale. So as we get closer to launching that I can absolutely share more with anyone on the call that wants to set up some time with us.

 

Aaron Conant  35:40  

So a question comes in you're, you're in addition to the shopping cart. So it's all paid through the checkout, the standard checkout, I'll say,

 

Rohan Shah  35:49  

standard checkout. So we have not to get super technical, but we have like an SDK or an app that lives on our merchants website. And that actually, merchandise is the extended warranty and protection plans throughout the customer journey. So you don't need to build UI UX elements. They're all customized to fit the theme and style and brand identity that our partners have. But they live on the PDP on the product detail page, there's pop up models that offer and merchandise the extended warranties we have cart page offers. And then as we talked about earlier, remarketing tools as well for marketing teams to reengage customers after the point of sale. So a lot of different touch points across the customer journey. We're even testing right now with a number of our merchants up funnel campaigns. So we had an Instagram ad with a well known watch manufacturer that we work with, where their tagline, I'm gonna butcher this candidly, but their tagline is like, it takes a lickin and keeps on ticking or something like that. And we offer the extended warranties and protection plans as part of an ad campaign on Instagram. And they saw like 20% Higher row as just through that, because customers really resonated and then came to the store to actually go browse. So a lot of touch points across the customer journey. And we have a full co marketing team that we leverage for our partners to help build those campaigns and think about the copy and stuff like that.

 

Aaron Conant  37:10  

Yeah, awesome. What does it user interface look like? Is another question that comes in, 

 

Rohan Shah  37:14  

For the customer or for the merchant. I can talk about 

 

Aaron Conant  37:19  

Let's go both is that neither it was not It's not clarified

 

Rohan Shah  37:23  

customer interface is really straightforward. So they go through the checkout flow, they have an option to buy, it looks like another SKU effectively that lives in the cart, they purchase no switching screens, it all goes through the payment rails of our Merchant partners itself. And then we capture payment as part of an invoicing process on the back end, if a customer has any issues, they'll get an email as soon as they purchase the protection plan. And we also send reminders, because we want to make sure that customers remember that they actually bought it issues can happen two years down the road where you may forget that you had a protection plan. So we send reminders. And then if a customer has any issue, they just click file a claim they're taken to a 24/7 chatbot that we have on our website. Her name is Kaylee, I joke if anyone's on my team, close your ears. But I joke that she's our best employee, because she's always up and always smiling. But she handles claims in less than 90 seconds. So 90 seconds after filing that initiating that claim, customers get a resolution on it. And we then handle fulfillment, if it's a couch, we send out a same kid if they spilled red wine. If it's a pair of headphones that broke, we get them back to the merchants website to get a replacement. And that's the entire journey for the customer. So our goal is not to be in a customer's face all the time. They just want help when something goes wrong, and we want to be there for them. For merchants, obviously, there's an integration process. So we go through an integration process, we have a team of solution and sales engineers that basically walk, either walk them through the integration or do the integration for them. In many cases, the customers then go through and buy, they're capturing all of the revenue and sales of these protection plans that go through the payment terminal. They then get invoiced by it by us for any of the transactions. So that happens as part of a sort of a P AR process on the back end. And then when any claims come through, again, we pay the retailers for those replacements. And then there's a dashboard on the back end as well. So merchants can monitor which customers are buying protection plans, how have their claims gone, if at all, any analytics around the sales, performance attach rates. And then we also do QBRs quarterly business reviews with all of our partners to give recommendations around how we want to build and grow the programs over time. So we typically see on an annualized basis, about 10 to 15% growth, even within our existing merchant base, just from optimization that we're doing. We don't change stuff on a retailer's website without them approving it, that would be a poor experience. And so we have a success team account management team that really focuses on that. This is again why we have you know, 500 people working here because there's a lot of support that goes into these programs. They're not a set it and forget it, nor is it something that merchants want to fully manage in most cases. And so it's really important that we're there to sort of put them through the process.

 

Aaron Conant  40:02  

Awesome. Love it. Just reminder others you have questions drop in the chat the q&a or keep emailing them to me Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com? Is there anything? Is there things you see changing in this space? Things that people should be aware of? Yeah, you know, just, I'm thinking like, more high level stuff as well, by just in the digital landscape. You guys work with so many brands? It's just, it's cool to hear, you know, your perspective on on what's going on in the space as a whole?

 

Rohan Shah  40:35  

Yeah, you know, I mean, I'll give you some of the stuff that we do on like the consumer marketing side and research side, which is, we've pulled a lot of data on demographic information, like trying to understand like, really, who is our customer, or end customer. And we've noticed some interesting things. I think they're interesting, because maybe I didn't expect it to be the case. But younger demographics, 18 to 28-30, are actually the most likely to buy extended warranties and protection plans. older demographics of parents are the next because they have kids at home. And issues typically happen when you got little kids at home. And so we learned a lot about sort of which brands and retailers even for us from our go to market perspective to focus on, as it relates to the product types that they're selling as it relates to the demographics that are typically going to their websites, and things like that. So I think there's a lot more to learn for us and other companies in the space, just as we really hone in to like, who that perfect demographic is. baby products work fantastic. Because people often are thinking about like, what's going to go wrong is maybe my first child, I don't know if they're gonna break or something's gonna happen. And what if I can't feed my baby properly for for a few days, because the product broke. So, you know, there's interesting dynamics across different categories. I think what I'm seeing more broadly, from a merchant perspective is the shift away, not away is not the right word. But the shift from focusing heavily, heavily heavily on customer acquisition and growth. I know we talked about some of the iOS changes and some of the impact that has on just general customer acquisition costs, and really focusing on like, what does LTV and profitability look like for our business? Some folks have only been selling for a year or two. And it's really hard to come up with those metrics. Other folks that have more historical data, are really starting to think about like, what are the unit economics on an individual customer? What are the touch points that I have to bring those customers back? We Extend just one touch point, right? There's so many opportunities that merchants have to think about other ways to reengage their customers. So I think those are the primary conversations that we're seeing going on right now.

 

Aaron Conant  42:40  

Well, yeah, I agree. And if you're looking at everything individually, then you're not you're not maximizing the overall potential of your your digital experience as a whole. Right? How are you using, you know, a subscription platform, extended warranty platform, you know, whatever it is, your tech stacks now in the backend are like 10 storeys tall, you have to find a way to integrate it all and then maximize the use of it, you can't think of it oh, you know, extended warranty is specifically around customer satisfaction in them converting to checkout, despite the things 10 Other things you can use it for to enhance the customer experience, because that's what you're looking for a conversation and the brands that went and give them a conversation actually interact and have a relationship. They're going to be the brands that win.

 

Rohan Shah  43:30  

I think the alignment, right, like what what we benefit from a lot, and I like you probably less than you. But I get texted by partners that we have on the merchant brand side every single week, asking about questions as it relates to their eCommerce platform as it relates to their marketing stack as it relates to a bunch of different tools and services that they're using. And for a while, I was like, obviously happy to help. But I was curious, like, what's the rationale behind why they're reaching out to me? Are they reaching out to all their vendors. And the response I got back was quite interesting, which was, we're one of the few vendors where we don't charge monthly or annually. And candidly, like, we make more money, when their business grows, if they're selling more products, I know I'm gonna sell more extended warranties. And so they trust our perspective on how to grow their business, knowing that we see, you know, 800 different brands and some of the things that they're working on. And so we end up and we don't charge for it, but like we end up becoming sort of a consulting shop downstream as well, where if we see tools that are working well, for one merchant, we can recommend them to others as well, which is again, the success motion. So it's interesting having sort of that point of view into into some of these conversations that they're having with other vendors and services. Because ultimately, the ROI case for us is a lot easier to justify compared to something where you're paying upfront and then paying annually and you're not 100% Clear on some of the assumptions that we're building into the business case.

 

Aaron Conant  44:52  

Yeah. Are there Yeah. Are there other things like just you know, top of mind, I don't have any other questions that have Come in here. There's other people want to drop into the chat or the q&a, we can get them answered really quickly here. You know, any like, you know, key thoughts or key takeaways. And I do want to say everybody on the line. You know, Rohan and the team have extended been great friends and partners of the network, they're helping a ton of brands out. And I think you can probably see here why there's no monthly fee, which is fantastic. They win when you win. And it's just a fantastic customer experience. So worth the follow up conversation for sure. You know, in store, I mind the combination there of it's literally dollars to the bottom line. So you know, more than happy exactly with him. And I'd love to have a conversation with you as well. We don't sell anything here at BWG connect, but love to hear pain points as a whole. Brian, I don't have any other questions that come in, I'd love to hear like the key takeaways. You know,

 

Rohan Shah  45:48  

I see that Stephen has his hand up. Actually, I don't know, if the 

 

Aaron Conant  45:51  

Oh, I think it was with his questions that came in the chat. 

 

Rohan Shah  45:56  

Just cut you off, but

 

Aaron Conant  45:59  

came in over the chat. But you what's what's, you know, kind of key takeaways here as we kind of wrap up?

 

Rohan Shah  46:06  

Yeah, I mean, look, we're super excited to chat with anyone as they think about some of the, you know, next 12 months strategies that they have on their end, whether it includes Extend or not, I think it's always helpful. And, you know, I get to learn something, candidly, which I always appreciate. So always happy to talk, as Aaron mentioned, you know, I think one of the things that one of the things that we really push people to think about is just mapping out that customer journey, I think it's easy to get consumed by the millions of fires, that we're all dealing with nonstop day in day out. Oftentimes, when I ask companies that I advise on the brand side, or I've invested in on the brand side, have you sat down and just mapped out your customer journey, be a consultant for a second and just really think about that overall customer journey and some of the touch points. Oftentimes, the answer I get is like we haven't, right. And so I think there's some really simple exercises that folks can do to really start understanding what are my customers experiencing, going out and serving those customers running NPS and CSAT surveys, etc. That really, really helped inform what the strategy for the next 12 months should be. Don't just listen to folks like myself, we're working at technology companies, right? I mean, I'm happy to chat. But we obviously have some bias with all of us. I think really starting with the customer, which is how we look at our business and how I push my team to think about anything. We're doing product strategy, sales, partnerships, etc. It's super helpful. 

 

Aaron Conant  47:31  

Awesome, love it. Well, thanks again. Rohan, for your your time today. Thanks to everybody who dialed in all the great questions that came in. Just all around fantastic conversation again, urge anybody, you're looking at this space, you're considering it, you're wondering, Hey, is this right for me? Is it not? What can I do as a team over and Extend leaders in this space and just being great friends and partners will be 100% worth a conversation for sure. You have 100% We'll put you in contact with Stephen for sure. And with that, I think we're going to wrap it up. Thanks again. Rohan. You guys are great friends and partners. Thanks everybody who dialed in hope everybody has a fantastic Thursday. Have a great rest of the week. Everybody take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Alrighty, everybody

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BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
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