A Beginner’s Guide To Package Protection: What Is It And Why Brands Should Care


Modern consumers are expecting every stage of the customer journey and every single channel  they engage with to evolve in tandem with their own shifting needs. After all, change is natural with the everyday goods they buy. Every year there’s a new model of the phone, car, or television, Taco Bell menu—you get the gist.

Alongside a shifting roster of products lining the ecommerce shelves are ever changing processes and tech people use to make a purchase. In a nutshell, shopping experiences are evolving, especially in ecommerce. Product pages are getting more interactive and engaging, ads and emails are getting more personalized, and targeted marketing seems to read minds and present ads for just the thing consumers have been thinking about buying. 

Despite all the advancements, though, one thing seems to stay the same. All of those innovations in the customer experience are improving the same part of the journey: the part before shoppers click the “Buy” button. 

Ecommerce marketers have been funneling the biggest part of the budget toward acquisition  and growth for decades. But what about after people complete their purchase? Do these brand new customers suddenly become less important as marketers move onto the next new customer. 

The truth is that the post-purchase experience hasn’t seen much movement since the inception of online shopping. Acquiring new customers is important, but disregarding them after purchase creates dissonance and disconnection on their customer journey. It’s 2021, and it’s time for a change that’s finally caught up to the rest of ecommerce.

The post-purchase experience should hold the same values of the pre-purchase and purchase stages of the customer journey: seamless, enjoyable, and memorable. It can be tricky to decipher where to start to create such a journey, but there’s one big obvious place to start in order to ensure an enjoyable experience—package protection. 

It seems so obvious yet has been a recurring issue swept under the rug for years. Lost, stolen, and broken items are inevitable in the ecommerce world, but how a brand responds to those instances can set them apart. Offering package protection and insurance is a fool-proof way for brands to bring their post-purchase experience up to date while delivering a benefit that finally meets (and exceeds) modern consumer expectations. 

The Costs of Sleeping on Package Protection During the Post-Purchase Experience

Perfecting the post-purchase experience can seem like an overwhelming task. That fact coupled with the myth that ROI comes mostly from acquisition could be why marketers overlook this part of the customer journey so often. However, once you settle in and focus on the post-purchase experience, it doesn’t take long to discover that one tactic can go a long way. When you consider that 40% of consumers see the post-purchase experience as the most memorable phase with more than 98% claiming that it deeply impacts loyalty, the investment is clearly worth the resources.

Package protection—also known as shipping insurance, buyer protection, package insurance, or other branded synonyms—is one of the most straightforward means to creating a better post-purchase customer experience. However, many brands see it as an unnecessary cost or one that can be shifted to the consumer or carrier entirely. Leaving it up to chance, though, can have a hugely negative effect on a customer’s experience and a brand’s bottom line.

Photo of an unhappy customer unboxing a package.

One of the most impactful strategies an ecommerce brand can weave into its customer experience is package protection.

When brands choose to go without, they really only have two options: 

  1. Force their customers to roll the dice and count on carriers to safely deliver, which is an extremely precarious move with high-value purchases plus the rise of porch pirates.  
  2. Send customers a replacement product should something go awry (or don’t and bear the brunt of high customer churn rates and a shoddy reputation). 

One option devastates the customer experience, and the other ultimately hurts your bottom line and scalability. 

Customer loyalty takes a hit when packages arrive broken or damaged, or if a purchase never arrives at all because it gets stolen or lost before the buyer ever even lays eyes on it. Despite delivery being out of a brand’s control, the customer won’t blame the carrier. Instead, 84% of consumers say they probably won’t shop again with a brand after a bad last-mile delivery experience, proving that blame gets placed squarely on the store.

Overlooking the post-purchase journey, and withholding genuine care and attention, has a negative ripple effect across every other part of your brand experience. Propping up a package protection option is one giant leap toward optimization, but it’s also important to make filing a claim as seamless as purchasing the product in the first place.

More than 60% of businesses cite increased customer effort as one of their top three factors that negatively impact the CX. If the claims or support process is challenging or fraught with friction, customers will quickly and easily drop you for a competitor that’s providing a better experience.

Lastly, with a poor (or nonexistent) package protection policy, brands put their net promoter score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores at risk. Unhappy customers leave negative reviews, tweet about their poor experiences, and call into your customer success line upset—all presenting their own problems that lead to losing (or never converting) other customers. 

A lackluster—or objectively poor—post-purchase experience directly costs ecommerce brands the costs to ship and replace lost, stolen, or damaged goods plus the time and resources it takes to manually resolve issues. Later, it leads to high customer churn, low repeat customer rate, dismal brand loyalty, and an inability to grow and scale to full potential.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Benefits of Offering Package Protection for brands and consumers

When it comes to customer experience, most companies are just wingin’ it. Only 15.6% of organizations fully understand and track the value of the customer experience to their business while fully realizing its potential as a crucial tactic. In a nutshell: Even small improvements to your store’s customer experience can lead to massive differentiation and positive impact. It’s an opportunity that’s right out in the open, yet few ecommerce brands choose to capitalize. 

a chart showing how many companies understand the value of the CX.

Offering package protection to your customers is one of the easiest ways to improve your post-purchase experience. It’s a solution that is easy to fold into your existing journey—oftentimes, it can be added directly on the checkout page. It’s instant peace of mind for shoppers, and even if they opt not to use it, they leave the page knowing that your brand cares enough to offer that extra level of protection. 

For the benefit of the brand, adding shipping insurance protects your bottom line. When a customer’s package is lost, stolen, or damaged, online merchants won’t suffer the financial losses. Instead, the purchases will be covered by insurance that protects both buyer and seller. 

As consumers have flocked to the digital shelves during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, porch pirates have similarly been on the rise. With more packages being sent than ever before, there have been more opportunities for thieves to snatch purchases. This reality means brands need to protect against this rising threat or risk bearing the brunt of bad actors. 

In addition to combatting the woes of package theft, offering package protection also improves the experience that customers have if their package is lost or damaged in transit. Obviously, it’s not fun for people to experience kinks along delivery, but if brands provide a simple issue resolution process, it leaves customers feeling taken care of and valued. The best defense against an unhappy customer is having a good process in place that requires no heavy lifting on the customer’s side.

When you help customers easily resolve any issues they experience and don’t make them jump through a lot of hoops or spend more of their own money, you’ll win back customers that may have otherwise been lost. On the other hand, customers will not come back to a brand with difficult return or refund policies. 

Package protection will not only increase your customer loyalty, but it will also build trust between you and the consumer. This makes consumers more likely to return and to recommend your brand to others. A trustworthy reputation is something many brands chase, and protecting their packages is a huge step toward that.

Route Protect is a store’s first defense against damage, loss, and theft

Route Protect is a best-in-class package protection solution. It’s easy, quick, and can be added to any ecommerce site. Protect your bottom line by protecting your packages—a small investment that will save you (and your customers) money.

Route works with all the big platforms that host ecommerce sites, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. It can even be added to ecommerce sites built on custom APIs. No matter who powers your ecommerce shop, Route is a quick addition to your checkout process and that packs powerful peace of mind.

Route Protect has had proven success for merchants, increasing purchase intent up to 50% and garnering a 92% customer satisfaction rate. Package protection and easy issue resolution mean fewer calls into your customer service line, fewer tedious manual claim resolutions, and lower customer service costs. 

Route Protect stats

Protecting purchases establishes hard-to-find trust between your brand and your customers. And if something should go wrong between warehouse and safe delivery, seamless protection means a happy ending no matter what. Customers are making more purchasing decisions based on the experience provided by brands, and a perfectly protected package provides the authentic care and support that everyone is craving today. 

From targeted ads to a stunning website, the rest of your customer experience has been built to fit the modern consumer—so why not revolutionize what happens after the checkout?

This originally appeared on Route and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
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