In the 2+ years since the COVID pandemic first shut down stores across the world, so much has changed and been disrupted. But one thing that remains fundamentally true is that the retail industry remains a consumer-centric business.
Although a brand’s foundational values, like quality and sustainability, may not have changed. The ways that retailers deliver on those promises definitely needs to continue to evolve in order for businesses to stay successful.
According to the National Retail Federation, brands need to understand when and where consumers want to engage with them, and then deliver on their customers’ terms.
Brands should rely on core values but be ready to be flexible and adaptable to meet their customers’ shifting behaviors and needs. Necessity can be the mother of invention, so the best retailers have been proactive in new product introductions and offering a variety of payment and delivery options.
The trend of more at-home living is expected to continue to accelerate during what some people are still calling the new normal.
Supply chain challenges are also expected to affect consumer experiences for several years to come. These disruptions are stressful for retailers and their customers, affecting buying decisions and delaying purchases in some instances.
The consumer demand for convenience and a retailer’s ability to leverage technology in communicating with their customers to meet those needs will continue to progress.
Although consumer confidence and spending are currently high, it’s important for retailers to exceed their customers’ expectations by offering hassle-free product protection that can ease a consumer’s worries about purchasing a new product. Optimism in the future will increase for consumers that don’t have apprehension associated with a product breaking and needing repairs.
In fact, consumers are more likely to complete a purchase if product protection is available. Supply chain shortages have made people more inclined to purchase extended service contracts.
Retailers should ensure that both online and in-store customer experiences provide an easy way for their customers to add extended service contracts. Consumers don’t know how long a product will need to last, so having easy and quick access to service and a nationwide repair network will reduce stress.
And if the customer missed the opportunity to buy product protection at the time of purchase, retailers can offer it after purchase. This can be an essential revenue stream for retailers, and makes customers feel valued, reducing buyer’s remorse. It’s Best Practice to charge a higher retail price if selling extended service contracts after the purchase. This incentivizes customers to add the product protection at the time of the sale.
And product protection renewal programs also offer customers the opportunity to extend their valuable service contracts so they don’t lose coverage on products they rely on every day. Customers appreciate the ability to maintain protection without any gaps in repair service coverage. Retailers should ensure they have a strong renewal program that notifies customers before their coverage expires.
Centricity partners with retailers and manufacturers to provide customized product protection solutions that drive revenue and result in loyal, happy customers. If you want to learn more about product protection plans and customized implementation and training for your team, contact us today.