Unboxing Logistics: An EasyPost Podcast

The Power of the Shopping Guarantee With Eric Thorson From BuySafe - Ep. 05

August 30, 2023 | 36:50

In This Episode

Ecommerce brands want customers to trust them—and they don’t hesitate to explain why their brand is credible. But when does a promise become more than just words on a screen? This week, Eric Thorson joins guest host Jason Eisenberg to talk about the power of third-party shopping guarantees. Here are a few highlights from the show: 

Customer anxiety and experience

Online shopping can be risky, and consumers sometimes hesitate to purchase from a site they haven’t shopped at before. Jason and Eric discuss four major concerns: 

  • Merchant reliability. Will my purchase come as described? 
  • Price point. Am I getting the lowest price?
  • Package security. Will my order be lost, damaged, or stolen?
  • Identity. Will my personal information fall into the wrong hands?

Often, shoppers overcome their concerns and make a purchase, convinced by the promises sellers make. But if their experience falls short of expectations, your reputation might take a hit. As Eric points out, “A negative review is forever … and there's no controlling what people write.”

What is a shopping guarantee?

A shopping guarantee gives consumers a reason to trust brands. It works in two ways. First, it uses trust signaling (often in the form of a floating seal on the website) to increase conversion rates. Second, it gives customers peace of mind that their purchase will be what they expected. Eric explains that “the power of the shopping guarantee is that [it] holds merchants accountable to their terms of service.” If there’s an issue with an order, the shopping guarantee makes things right for the customer.

Brand recognition + shopping guarantee

Shopping guarantees address consumer anxieties with “visual trust signaling, [or] graphical elements that are … prominently displayed.” But of course, businesses never want to confuse users with too many elements on the page—especially if the trust signal includes a third party’s logo. Eric emphasizes the importance of making the brand front and center. “We don't want to take away from the brand, because [that’s] the top priority, right? It's about making that connection with your brand.”



Jason Eisenberg 00:00 

Welcome everyone to another episode of Unboxing Logistics, where today we'll be talking about the relationship between confidence and revenue. My name is Jason Eisenberg. I will be your host for today. I was a D2C marketer for about 10 years and that's why I am really excited to talk to an expert Eric Thorson.

Eric, can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself? 

Eric Thorson 00:19 

Sure. Thanks Jason. I'm glad to be here. I'm Eric Thorson, general manager of the Norton Shopping Guarantee consumer platform. I'm one of the founding members of the team and have been in the kind of consumer behavioral space for well over 10 years.

Jason Eisenberg 00:30 

Awesome. We're really happy to have you. Very excited to learn more about ecommerce and how conversions can be increased. But before we get into that, I would love to play this game with you that is called this or that. Where we get to little get to know you a little bit more. 

Are you, are you down? 

Eric Thorson 00:44 

If you, let's break the ice, I guess. 

Jason Eisenberg 00:45 

All right, let's break some ice. Alright. Pineapple pizza or no? 

Eric Thorson 00:49 

Pineapple pizza. And, and I are you surprised? 

Jason Eisenberg 00:52 

I am. 'cause we had pizza yesterday and I feel like you said you didn't. 

Eric Thorson 00:54 

Well, I, I shamed. I made fun of it yesterday.

Jason Eisenberg 00:57 

You were trying to just fit in. 

Eric Thorson 00:58 

I did. I didn't wanna be judged. 

Jason Eisenberg 00:59 

That's fair. I understand. Marvel or DC? 

Eric Thorson 01:02 

Marvel, specifically Thor. Why is that everybody? Why Thor? Thorson is my name. 

Jason Eisenberg 01:10 

Oh, wow. Snow or sand?

Eric Thorson 01:12 

Actually sand. 

Jason Eisenberg 01:13 

Sand. Is there a reason why you prefer sand? It's beach sand or desert sand. Actually, let's make that ...

Eric Thorson 01:17 

So, so ocean, maybe that's so ocean sand, ocean water, boating, skiing, water skiing, you know, that kind of stuff.

Jason Eisenberg 01:24 

Tablet or physical book? 

Eric Thorson 01:26 

Tablet. Yeah. 

Jason Eisenberg 01:28 

Easier to read. 

Eric Thorson 01:29 

They're, yeah. You know, they like a Kindle, I guess, or an iPad. It is just, I don't know. It's, it's just. I can zoom in, I can go back. It's just the way I, you know, can get through the content easier. 

Jason Eisenberg 01:40 

See, I'm a book guy for some reason. 

Eric Thorson 01:41 

You know, some many are, many are. I hear books are popular. 

Jason Eisenberg 01:44 

They are popular. They've been around. It's important for a little bit. It's right. So putt putt or top golf? 

Eric Thorson 01:48 

Top golf, you know, top golf. Yeah. Miniature golf. I don't know. It's, I mean, maybe when I was a lot younger, but I'm, I've evolved.

Jason Eisenberg 01:56 

NASCAR or F1? 

Eric Thorson 01:57 

F1. Yeah. Just, it's just more exciting. I think the stakes are a lot higher. Those, the, the compared to NASCAR, those vehicles, I mean, they're just the amount of money and of course, and of course, what do we all want when we watch racing? Right? 

Jason Eisenberg 02:10 

Money? No. 

Eric Thorson 02:10 

Well that. We wanna see crashes. Oh wow. I know. I don't want anybody to get hurt.

Jason Eisenberg 02:15 

That one's getting big in the US now though. It, it's impressive to see it. 

Eric Thorson 02:18 

It's really kind of taking over. 

Jason Eisenberg 02:19 

Yeah, no doubt. And just for fun, which is not a this or that ...

Eric Thorson 02:21 

I mean, has been fun. This has been fun so far. 

Jason Eisenberg 02:23 

I mean, I mean this part's even more fun. 

Eric Thorson 02:24 

It's going to get better? 

Jason Eisenberg 02:25 

I promise. 

Eric Thorson 02:25 

Alright, let's go.

Jason Eisenberg 02:26 

What is the correct spelling of ecommerce? 

Eric Thorson 02:29 

Oh, I do so lowercase e, capital C, and then ommerce is how I do it. I don't like hyphen. 

Jason Eisenberg 02:35 

No hyphen I, I agree with you that ...

Eric Thorson 02:37 

I think there's no wrong answer. 

Jason Eisenberg 02:38 

It's a trick question. Really. Like fine. So yeah, I was just trying to ...

Eric Thorson 02:41 

I mean, how about electronic? Let's go retro, electronic commerce.

We'll spell out electric, we'll put an X there for electric commerce. I mean, let's mix it up a bit. 

Jason Eisenberg 02:50 

Sounds good. All right, cool. So we've got all that out of the way, so I'm ready to go and dive into our topic. Alright, so our first segment is gonna be about understanding the evolving nature of security and consumer confidence in ecommerce, obviously.

So how would you differentiate between consumer confidence and security? 

Eric Thorson 03:06 

That's a good question. So there's been quite an evolution of the word security as it pertains to ecommerce. And, you know, over the last decade it has changed quite a bit and where the, where consumers originally were concerned, they were really worried, truly around that word security, and as security as it relates to is the environment I'm about to give my information to or do business with this, this screen, if you will.

Is that a safe place for me to be? Will I be compromised or breached in any way? And what we're seeing over the last several years is that consumers are becoming less and less concerned about that. And they've sort of moved their concerns and anxieties towards that other unknown factor, that other unknown variable, which is the people, the, the people who run that business.

That's really the, you know, the undefined, uncertain variable when it comes to first-time shoppers especially, and because the ecommerce is a very disconnected unhuman experience, there's this worry about all these great promises that I see it, that the merchant is making me, and you know that they're gonna take good care of me and they're gonna give me, they're gonna guarantee all these things.

Well, those are just merely graphics on a screen. They're really not proven until that person has to experience whether they really will step up or not. Right. And that's. And I, and I actually, especially going through, obviously the Covid pandemic and because of the amount of volume, the sheer volume that was coming in, that actually was amplified quite a bit.

Those concerns actually probably rippled out quite a bit from the standpoint that the sheer volume of transactions that were going on, more merchants were coming out of nowhere. There were a lot of people who were let down and, and by the way, it's not because the merchants are themselves sinister or, or set out to really harm people.

I think they went through their own problems with supply chain and I mean, I think it's just a combination of things. And I also think people aren't perfect and they're gonna, unfortunately, people make mistakes. And it really, where it concerns and it's that unknown that really causes consumers to be concerned.

Jason Eisenberg 05:09 

Right. I mean, it makes sense, you know, the evolution of ecommerce creates new problems, new security issues. So initially it was, is your, is your website secure? Right? That was the original security issue. Now it's more. Well, now that we're at record shipments we have record packages being left on doors.

So now there, there's a new concern or increasing concern of porch piracy, right? That's just one small example of different security concerns that consumers will have as they have things delivered to their homes or offices. So, makes sense. Can you share some examples from your work experience about, you know, what highlights the differentiation between confidence and security?

Eric Thorson 05:49 

Sure. So one of the best practices, it's been fairly tried and true early on in the earlier days. It's, and, and today there's been this visual trus signaling graphical elements that are introduced to the site that the, the the merchant that wants to make sure that are prominently displayed so that they, so that the, the potential consumer will see those trusts signals and those trust signals are, are, they come up, they come from anywhere from the merchant themselves creating, creating them to third party or services such as perhaps Trusted Site, Norton Shopping Guarantee, McAfee, those are all really well-known, trusted third party brands. 

But, inevitably the idea is to address the, those, those anxieties that shoppers have the moment they reach the site. And it's really important that that is, now there's that sort of fine the, the, the, where the struggle is with merchants.

Merchants have a, especially if you're the, the creative side of the merchant, of the eCommerce side of the business, the user experience people. There's this real balance that then struggle between finding that harmony of having visual trust signalling on there that doesn't look obnoxious. It looks organic and natural, but more, most importantly, and I want everyone to know this, we don't want to take away from the brand.

'Cause the brand, your brand is the top priority, right? It's about making that connection with your brand. To that first-time visitor, but a close second is having some form, and I really believe it needs to be third party, 'cause third party is where the credibility is. Right? If you're the consumer, that's where you're gonna place your trust.

And it has to be a brand that you know. And if we do that, this is all within microseconds. This is all happening immediately, subconsciously. And the, the longer that they're struggling with this I call it what's called hang time. Hang time is where the, the consumer's doing everything but what you want them to do, which is browse, engage, click.

Move through an inevitable funnel experience, shopping experience, and inevitably check out. 

Jason Eisenberg 07:59 

That makes sense. So would you, you know, I would love to ask, you know, how you think consumer confidence affects conversion rate? I mean, is it a direct correlation? And in your experience, have you seen, I mean, I'm not gonna ask you for an average rate over your lifetime of how many you've seen at work and how much it increases, but, you know, is it significant?

Eric Thorson 08:22

It is and how it's significant and I can, I can certainly provide standard, you know, industry standard ranges. I mean, the willingness to, at the very least, put something on your site and experiment with the data, the performance around that in terms of conversion rate impact to a business is on the low side of 3% and on the high side, 12%.

That seems to be where it's sitting right now. So then you might say, well, 3%, that seems small. It's not small if you're JBL, right? If you're jbl.com or if you're a, crateandbarrel.com or if you're a, a major brand. Well, with the sheer volume that they're doing, 3% of a million versus 10% of a hundred thousand, it's all relative.

But at the, but inevitably, it ends up to a tremendous amount of incremental revenue at the end of the day with conversion rate. 

Jason Eisenberg 09:13 

Not passive. It's pretty passive. 'Cause it's, it's something that's automatically, you're not putting out a marketing plan for it. You're not adding more workload, you're, it's just already there.

Eric Thorson 09:23

That's right. 

Jason Eisenberg 09:23 

So that's, that's incredibly helpful. You know, when in terms of security and confidence what are some of the key factors that make a guarantee an actual guarantee? 

Eric Thorson 09:32 

Sure. So the way I always describe it whenever I'm consulting with a merchant is I'll, and we, we typically both acknowledge that this is considered a best practice.

I like to call it, you know, three best primary practices when it comes to trust and how consumers expect to have some way, some form of, signaling around these three areas. One is ratings and reviews. Ratings and reviews is great because what it shows a consumer is how you've performed historically.

It's powerful. Right? And a lot, and I know we all, I know our society is really, puts a lot of stock in. I know I do. I mean, if I do anything nowadays, it's so easy to do. I pick up my phone and I can look at what's going on there. Especially if it's a, certainly a restaurant, a food experience. 

Jason Eisenberg 10:19 

It's, I trust random people online more than I would've trusted people I knew in real life. So it's funny. But I just read like a Yelp review or four. And I'm like, all right, good to go. I'm down to get that. So yeah, that's important. 

Eric Thorson 10:31 

So ratings and reviews now, ratings and reviews. But so, so none of what I'm sharing with you is an absolute lock.

Right. And, and let me just also say that the, the goal of any merchant, the dream, the, which is also unobtainable, but yet it's what's their goal? What's, what gets the, what's gets ecommerce professionals, you know up and running is reaching a hundred percent conversion rate. I mean, that means of course, every person who comes to the site will buy something.

Now that is unrealistic. However, incrementally they're trying to do 14 different things that inevitably will hopefully get closer to that a hundred, but will never achieve it, if that makes sense. So, but with regards to ratings and reviews, so what's important about that is it's not a, it's certainly not, it's compelling and it gives a historical, but if I'm a new visitor that, sure, Steve may have had a good experience, but I'm Eric and I'm not sure.

I'm still not convinced. It's nice to know that there's a historical, you know, good perform, past performances. So then there's, then there, then there's the moment where you're actually at the site. Right? So you're literally there at the site. So that, I call that the present. The present is having a, a mainstream platform.

You know, obviously it's Shopify, you know, household name. A trusted brand, a, a, a place, a, a safe place to transact where I'm not worried about any sort of ID theft or data breach or such. So I call that kind of the moment of now, but then the shopping guarantee side of things, that, that's, that does a couple of things that I think is very compelling and has been very proven.

And that is addressing the concerns, the, the con, the anxieties that shoppers have around the tomorrow, the, what I call the "What If?" The five minutes from now, the two days from now. The 30 days from now. 

Jason Eisenberg 12:16 

So what are some of those anxieties, actually? I'm very curious. 

Eric Thorson 12:18 

So primarily, I mean, there's several, but the, the, we focus in on four.

And four of those areas of concern around merchant reliability, they're around getting the best price point. They're around package security, package protection, and lastly around identity, protecting the consumer's identity. 

Jason Eisenberg 12:37 

Oh, that makes a lot of sense. It's actually why I. I mean, I'm, we're about to talk about first-time visitors, but let's talk about real quick.

In order to become a repeat customer, you're a first-time visitor somewhere, right? So you need a great experience to become that repeat customer from being a first-time visitor. So I am curious about, you know, first-time shoppers and shopper lifetime value, right? That's what's important here. And so what are some common fears of first-time shoppers?

Eric Thorson 13:05 

Yeah, a lot of, a lot of promises are made. When a first-time shopper arrives at a web property, they often will most times see a very I think a very believable inviting engagement experience and with lots of wording and text in terms of service and, and, and graphics around promises and guarantees and, you know satisfaction and such.

And those are merely promises that are being conveyed. And the, but in reality, And in a lot of cases, that doesn't always hold up. And so what's really fascinating is that, that the lion's share of merchants are, they wanted, they're, they really are wanting to run a good, reputable business. They do want to service their customers.

It only takes a few bad experiences though, for that person to encounter, or through their friends and family that they hear these stories and it automatically just puts that concern in their mind. 

Jason Eisenberg 14:07 

Can you provide an example of like a business that, you know, whether it's third party or it's something that they curated themselves?

You know, I mean, kind of Amazon comes top of mind. You know, with, as they call the A to Z. I mean, so obviously Amazon is a giant and so sure they have kind of that social proof that they can do that kind of security. They can provide that guarantee, but what about for anyone else who's not on Amazon? 'Cause Amazon has a pretty big take on merchants, so ...

Eric Thorson 14:33 

They do. They do. And, and in fact to, to Amazon and both eBay and Amazon's credit, that's what inspired us to build the shopping guarantee because we saw what they were doing, they really, they really pioneered this idea around how, hey, if things don't go right, we have built out an infrastructure a way, a, a, a resolution or a dispute resolution capability.

That is built in that they then market them the Amazon markets it and they do call it their A to Z guarantee. eBay, what eBay calls it, eBay buyer protection. But the, but the functionality is really important. 'Cause what it's telling consumers or shoppers is that look, if anything doesn't go well, we have this system in place that will allow you to reach out.

You will be heard, it will be tracked, and it will be resolved. 

Jason Eisenberg 15:22 

That makes sense. I mean, you know, I'm sure everyone in this room has used Amazon or eBay at some point. But there are times in my life where I'm like, I can't just rely on one one, store. 

Eric Thorson 15:33 

They may not have what, they may not even, and you, Amazon doesn't have everything all the time. Right? 

Jason Eisenberg 15:36 

I mean, there was a South Park episode we talked about yesterday over pizza, about the power that one person has. It was like, I can shut off your Amazon Prime account. And you will be without anything. You know. 

Eric Thorson 15:47 

Right. And the Wal, there's, I mean, we didn't get one, didn't get it too far down in the weeds here, but there's also the Walmart one too, which was pretty funny.

Where the Walmart consumes these small towns and the power of big. The power of a big brand. Right. 

Jason Eisenberg 15:57 

So let's talk about some trust signals in ecommerce. You know, what, what are some of those signals that automatically a, a consumer sees, or a visitor sees that builds that trust right off the bat?

Eric Thorson 16:09 

Yeah. You have to be able to see it, right. It has to be, has to be displayed, but in a very, you know, balanced way. We, we, we like to, as best practices, we recommend that we have, which is fairly typical in today's ecommerce platforms and experiences, a floating seal. So the floating seal is either on the left or right, and it kind of, it's that sort of that secondary thing.

I, first, of course, as I said, I want them to see the brand. I want them to see a product. I want them, I want, I want first-time visitors who also, by the way, have buying intent. That's really compelling, right? I mean, they, they're on a mission. They want to buy, they want to fulfill, and some of those folks get, they just, they get stuck.

And what we do is with the trust signaling, that's floating. And the reason it's floating is, by the way, is that at any, because not every consumer or visitor arrives at a web property at the same type place, at the same time, in the same location. So the floating seal solves that problem because no matter where they hit, they're always gonna see that, that additional trust signaling, that's really crucial.

And, and then the more it's seen, the more effective it works. Now that's a real, that's a big, big statement because you can get carried away with that. You can get too crazy, too much. Distract from the brand cause friction, we don't want that and we want, we will work with the merchant to make sure that that's not the case.

But we along the way, the tip that logically, usually the next step is obviously the homepage. Then you go into what's called the PDP, product display page, where you start to look at the products and then you can actually drill down to the product itself. We put additional graphics in there, we call those conversion kickers.

And they're near to call to action. Now we also are very mindful of when we show up and have a conversation and consult with a merchant that there are gonna be other, other graphical partners and services that they're using, maybe for payments like such as a firm or Visa or MasterCard. Maybe there'll be ratings and reviews.

You know, Trustpilot may have some presence there too. So we also have to obviously be mindful of not over, you know, overcrowding the space and causing that sort of clutter. 'Cause that's a real hot, that's a, they're very sensitive about that. Right? And they should be. Right, because you can get too carried away.

Jason Eisenberg 18:18 

So regarding first-time shoppers You know, let's say I'm the CEO of a brand that's been around 10, 15, 20 years. Everyone loves me. Everyone trusts me. Right? What would you tell me about a Norton Shopping Guarantee? Would I need something like that? Would I need any third-party guarantee?

Eric Thorson 18:33 

Yeah. I, I, I hear that a lot. I. And then I go through pockets where I don't hear it, and then I hear it and I'm talking, you know, and I'm it, I talk to big brands. I talk to hundreds of, of business operators, of large brands all the time, and I will often hear, hey, we're so and so, we're a household name.

Everybody trusts us. And when I hear that, I, I certainly agree, acknowledge it. And then I say, you, would you be surprised that 87% of all merchants think that, that customers automatically trust them? Yeah. And that seems like a really good number. Right? And then the reality is about 33% of the consumers trust you.

So there's that, there's a real big chasm there, right? A big gap. And, and that, you know, and that we, it's okay. And, and you know, mis, you know, we understand why you feel that way. You should, you're proud of your brand. You are a big brand, but there's still room. There's still definitely room for improvement.

Jason Eisenberg 19:23 

There's room for that. But also the, they might trust the brand, but they don't, may have not visited your website yet. They don't trust that online shopping situation, which might not even be technically related to your brand, but the experience that they have not had yet. How are they supposed to trust that if it's brand new to them? Right? 

Eric Thorson 19:42 

Yeah, I think there's some, I think there's an intersection of where it, they know the brand. And that sort of, kind of bleeds into, I trust the brand, right? I think there's some that, some of that's going on, which is, it's great that you know the brand, but that doesn't automatically equate that you trust the brand.

Right? So we gotta try to help bridge that gap and we do. 

Jason Eisenberg 20:03 

And right. And so while we're talking about trust, what about what are some of the things that, you know, trust, trust can mean a lot of things, right? I trust that the product's gonna work. I trust that I'm gonna get the product when I order it.

I trust that you're not gonna lower it by 50, the price of that product by 50%. There are a lot of things that you can provide trust signals for. Right. And so can we talk about some of the stuff that a third party, a good third party guarantee, would actually kind of knock, hit the check mark on each of these boxes that consumers you know, untrustworthy. 

Eric Thorson 20:36 

Sure, yeah. Let me make that, let me try to make that even easier for everybody. The shopping guarantee, we're actually, we're, we're an insurance product. We are underwriting the terms of service of every merchant that, that uses the service. And of course, terms of service or terms of, you know, terms and conditions.

You know, every business has one in one form or flavor. Some are very, you know, some are one pages, some are 20 pages. And in that is a, it's a legal document. It's a legal promise to the consumer of exactly what to expect in terms of your policies, your business policies. And the shopping guarantee, and the power of the shopping guarantee is that we hold merchants accountable to their terms of service to their customer.

Right? That's what's really compelling, right? And so if you have a seven-day return policy, you're gonna, and the customer comes back and it's within, it's four days later, you're not gonna give, you're gonna honor the policy. Now guess what? That doesn't always happen. Sometimes there's misunderstandings, sometimes there's emotions.

Sometimes there is a, there is a, maybe a blatant disregard for their policy. Maybe it's that, that that customer service rep hasn't been fully trained. I mean, there's, there's just so many variables that can cause some confusion and inevitably can escalate. And that's the other compelling part of the shopping guarantee is we're, we're a platform that deescalates customers who are con, you know, who would not normally just be completely upset and act out and do a chargeback, do a negative reviews.

We de-escalate it. We contain that. We contain the shopper, we calm them down. By the way, this is what Amazon and eBay do. This is what they've been doing. This is why they're the company they are today, right? Because they've really embraced this approach, and we feel that all merchants should have this capability.

We're not going to eliminate chargebacks. We're not gonna eliminate negative reviews. Well, we're certainly gonna reduce them. Yeah. And they're both damaging in their own right. Especially a negative review. A negative review is forever. There's no change in it. That's a tough one to get rid of and, and there's no controlling on what people write.

It really is kind of a bad deal sometimes for a merchant who otherwise had really good intentions. 

Jason Eisenberg 22:54 

Right. And so I'd love to talk tackle this real quick. 'Cause I've definitely seen merchants get negative reviews that they don't really deserve to get. You know, so a package being stolen and then they get a negative review.

That, they did not steal their own products. Obviously, right? They didn't hire someone to come to their house and be like, give me my product back. Someone stole it. But the brand is the one that's held accountable for it. And if the brand doesn't make it right quickly, then you might get a negative review for that.

So that's, you know, how do you combat something like that? 

Eric Thorson 23:25 

Yeah. So over the last five years, we've seen a, we've seen a lot of services enter the market to offer package protection at the moment of checkout. And by the way, before five years, people were still stealing things. Theft was still a problem, right, in our society. 

However, what we've, what the opportunity was, was to build a, a offer a service to consumers to combat. The, you know, ever-growing amount of commerce that is done online will result in actual packages coming to your home. You know, I mean, let's face it, the going to the, I mean, the before that we, we still go to malls and grow and, and chain stores, and we certainly do that, but we don't do it nearly at the volume that we're doing now, and it's not, it's gonna continue, right?

And so thieves are going to take advantage of people. And so I think offering package protection should, what we're seeing is that it's just becoming as a, as standard as the add to cart, as standard as the carrier, different carrier options, different speed, you know, different times to, to deliver a product.

It's it's, it's as, it's gonna be, as I think, as common as you, as any of those other, other experiences that everybody is very familiar with, but it's also about choice, right? You know, the, the model is we want the consumer to choose for themselves and, and give that customer that option to decide if that's for them or not.

We, it's not, you know, nothing's forced on anybody. And it's interesting 'cause I, the, some of the feedback I've heard from merchants, and I think this is really important and I'm hoping anyone who's watching this content will really kind of take, take pause. And that is, well a lot of our customers kind of expect us to, to take care of that anyway.

And you're, you're right. In fact, if you don't offer package protection, how are you handling that right now? Well, we're, we're writing them off. We're, we're taking the hit, right. And it, and because we want them happy. We're gonna do what we can to make 'em happy and it's gonna, and if, even if it cost us, hits their margin, hits their bottom line. 

And so even if it's, and the other fine, fascinating thing I learned is over the last maybe 12 to 13 months, I've interviewed at least a hundred different merchants business leaders and within these merchants of all sizes. And I, and asked the question, we'd talk about package protection, and they would say, some of them had no idea.

They don't even really, like I said, well, how many do you experience? And no judgment here because look, these people have a lot going on. They're not gonna be in tune with every aspect of their business. But a lot of them just didn't know. And, and the few that knew, they'd say, oh, it was one or two, almost like they were okay with that.

Like, it's not, don't be okay. Don't be okay with just one. Even one package theft is damaging to the brand. It can tarnish your brand because if it spirals and it gets uncontained, then it becomes a negative review, a chargeback or some other disparaging remark on social media and it's avoidable because if we give them the choice. Now, they still may have been offered package protection and not signed up for it.

That's okay. But, but what if 10 others? What if 10 people who others would have been a victim, did sign up for it and they did it knowingly? And inevitably they became resolved and then they became even probably more determined customers to come back and buy from that brand again. 

Jason Eisenberg 26:49 

And since we're talking about reviews, I mean, you're more likely to get a positive review, which is even better. You know, so that's true. It's, it's just like this automatic thing you can have that will increase customer loyalty. That's right. Right. Rather than having to send these emails over, over and over again. 'Cause sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Sure. It's something that's just automatically on, something you don't have to think about.

Which, speaking of not thinking about, I also wanted to touch on this idea of, so when you talk about the guarantee kind of offers a, almost like a protective barrier between the consumer and the brand. Are, are you, are you saying that, you know, the brand doesn't have to have a customer service rep deal with it?

Is it a guarantee? Is the guarantee handling that for them? You know, what does that look like? 

Eric Thorson 27:32 

The shopping guarantee is a great additional offset. It gives, it, it, it actually, in many ways, if there's a customer service, customer service organ part of the organization, they, it can go two ways.

They in both cases, the shopper receives the guarantee, but you know, the 30 days of guarantee and protections so that they know in the future if there's a problem, they raise their hand. When they do raise their hand, they may reach out to the, to the merchant directly. We train all the customer service reps.

To be, you know, how to field those inbounds. It's not gonna cause any additional that would normally be coming in, and in some cases they'll actually come directly to us. The, and what's really, here's what's really great about that, is that the shopping guarantee isn't some brand new bleeding edge concept.

I mean, it's been established for over 10 years and it's being used by some very large brands today. The, the consumers are now sort of been conditioned now. And some of them know the routine very well, where they'll just, they automatically engage us. We, we will resolve the situation and in most cases we can resolve it on the merchant's behalf.

And they love that. 'Cause guess what? That's not, then they don't have to deal with it. 

Jason Eisenberg 28:41 

So wait, sometimes would you say the merchant doesn't even know it's happening? 

Eric Thorson 28:45 

They may not know at the time, but what the merchant can do is we provide the ability for them to log into an admin environment and then they can see all that activity.

And it's all, it's all very transparent. 

Jason Eisenberg 28:55 

But bottom line. It's not, it's, it's potentially less work for them. That's, I'll do, I'll pay for anything if it means less work. 

Eric Thorson 29:03 

Sign me up. Right. So, yep. Less work, less chargebacks, less brand risk. I mean it's it's all upside.

The pro, the issue is, is that they don't feel that pain. It's not in their radar. I, I alluded to it earlier in the conversation that when I had asked the ecommerce, you know, personas that we normally will engage with. And I ask 'em about package protection. They don't, they're not really, there's not a real direct line to what, where that pain is. 

Now there's pain, that's the, there is pain there, but they don't know it. So when we try to have the conversation, and I'm paraphrasing, it's a, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, I know I've heard of you, I've heard of this company. Yeah. You do package protection and it's, and, and then of course, and then, and then what happens is you Google package protection or package theft for porch privacy stats.

And the, I could sit here for two hours and go through all the data and it's not compelling. What our, what our objective is, and we realize it's still gonna take time and education, and it's gonna be a, it's a marathon, not a sprint. But please don't ignore this. And because it's very easy to, to mini mitigate.

That's, if I can get, if I can, can have a, one of the main takeaways of this content that you're hopefully watching, take a few minutes to, to take it. Just take a few minutes to look at, look at what's going on, even if it's one. Even if it's one, don't minimize that. Let's have a conversation. Let let, and let me show you, let us show you how easy that is to help it resolve for you.

Jason Eisenberg 30:39 

Right. And based on what we just talked about, right? Package protection is nearly, is, is a cog of the shopping guarantee in general. It's if you're trying to inspire trust and confidence from the get-go, you want them to see it right away, which you're talking about right now. And then the ability to add package protection as well as have this add-on that doesn't cost anything extra.

To get what, identity, I'm trying to remember, identity fraud. Lowest price guarantee, which is always like my eye eyebrow razor. I always. Lowest price guarantee means, okay, this is where I'm buying it, right. Because I'm gonna get the lowest price guaranteed. And then purchase guarantee. Making sure you actually get the product you pay for. And you're happy with it. 

Eric Thorson 31:23 

Yeah. So, that's right. That's right. And just to summarize again, the, the, the, the four main value points of the shopping guarantee. The, the entire platform focuses on area four areas. One is purchase guarantee, which is around merchant reliability.

Right. The second is the lowest price guarantee. Everyone has a low-price guarantee. And in fact, to my point earlier around, you'll see most merchants will place some sort of graphic on it that says, we promise the lowest prices, or we have a low price guarantee or some language. And it's just them saying that through a graphic.

Not saying that that's not something they will honor 'cause many will do, but when they do honor it and when they're called upon it, it comes out of their pocket. What sets us apart from them is it comes out of our pocket, right? So imagine the same circumstance where they buy something, the item then goes on sale within 30 days, up to a hundred dollars, by the way. 

Well, they then come to us and we will make up the difference and pay that, pay your customer directly out of our, out of our pocket. It doesn't come out of your pocket and we don't come back to you to make us whole. And again, by the way, all of this is free for you to use. 

Jason Eisenberg 32:34 

Yeah. And so can you talk to me a little specifically about this?

I love this part. Can you talk to me a little bit about customer experience and how that would bring someone back? 

Eric Thorson 32:43 

Yeah. In fact especially if you're a price-sensitive consumer, what you'll want, what what we often will see, and we see it in the data, is that they end up coming back. 'Cause it has, by the way, when the, when the low price, if that, if that price does change, it has to be self-discovered.

So the customer themselves has to realize it. Well, how are they gonna realize it? Well, they're gonna realize it 'cause they're coming back to the site to check. Right? Because they, they wanna catch us. They want to catch the merchant. I would. Right. I, I wanna get my money. That'd be fun. Right. But oh, by the way, they're coming back and when they're coming back, they end up making another, oftentimes it's another purchase.

Right. So it's a repeat opportunity to sell 'em a product or service. 

Jason Eisenberg 33:24 

Awesome. Well, I think we're almost out of time, so I'd love to quickly just tackle a few things or kind of summarize what we've talked about. 'cause it was, it was a lot. As any eCommerce ecommerce, ecommerce, ecommerce merchant will, attest to. There's a lot.

Eric Thorson 33:39 

How do you spell that? Is it e c e r? 

Jason Eisenberg 33:41 

Oh, don't you throw that back at me. Oh, don't you throw that. That was really, I go lowercase, lowercase, all the way through. That's how I do it. Anyway but there's a lot that an ecommerce merchant needs to basically check off their list. So after everything we've talked about which was a lot. Could you tell us how the relationship of consumer confidence translates to revenue? 

Eric Thorson 33:57 

Yeah. So I'd first say confidence equals conversion. And, and that's a very generalized statement. The lack of confidence can be defined in many ways, but one is uncertainty, friction, noise.

And I think that line of so, so clearly with a shopping guarantee, we really, it was set out to be designed to align with four, not all anxieties, but we really wanna hone in on the top four. And we think that the top four are the lion's share of the anxieties and baggage that consumers will bring to a website for their first time.

And we wanna be very deliberate about aligning to those right away. I think that's really important and that inevitably will lead to higher confidence, which inevitably leads to higher revenue and conversion. 

Jason Eisenberg 34:39 

Awesome. Well thank you Eric. That was a lot of awesome insights about ecommerce. I really appreciate it.

I'm sure our audience will appreciate it as well. If they have any more questions, is there anywhere they can reach you at? 

Eric Thorson 34:50

Yeah, bet. Thanks Jason. Thanks for having me. It's great. Best place to get me is on LinkedIn under Eric Thorson, reach out to me for any time. You know, if you wanna bounce something off me, need some advice, some input, I'm always happy to help.

Jason Eisenberg 35:02 

You can subscribe to us through wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find the podcast on YouTube as well as follow our LinkedIn as we'll keep you updated on upcoming episodes. But thank you again for joining us on Unboxing Logistics.