Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
Shoppers with the chance to protect purchases with bonds were 10.4% more likely to buy.
Lighting and home furnishings retailer Bellacor.com says an A/B test showed that consumers are eager to protect their transactions.
The test compared shoppers who were offered bonds from BuySafe Inc.against a control group that was not given the option to protect their transactions. After six weeks of testing, the retailer says visitors who saw buySafe's seal and bonding option were 10.4% more likely to make a purchase than consumers who did not see the seal.
"We put buySafe through the paces to ensure it was a solution that provided real value to our business and met all our stringent operational and performance requirements for us,” says Jim Lawrence, CEO of Bellacor, No. 307 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. "Implementing buySafe was very smart and has provided an immediate impact on our business."
Customers generally pay between 1% and 5% of the purchase amount for the bonds, which are underwritten by such insurance companies as Liberty Mutual Group and The Travelers Co. Bond protection lasts for 30 days after the purchase and guarantees the merchant will follow through on the terms of the sale, as stated in the product listing or web site policies.
The protection extends to returns, refunds and shipping, and it guarantees, among other things, that the product sold is not counterfeit. A consumer unhappy with a purchase first tries to resolve the problem through the merchant. If that fails, a buySafe employee will assist the customer and retailer in resolving problem. If consumers can’t resolve the problem with the retailer, buySafe processes the guarantee.
In May, buySafe introduced a low-price guarantee to its offerings. The service adds an additional incentive for shoppers to buy from online retail sites, says Hans Dreyer, the company’s vice president.
The low price guarantee provides a way to assure the a shopper that he is not over-paying for products that a retailer puts on sale within 30 days after a purchase. The guarantee, which covers retail price fluctuations of up to $100, is offered as an add-on service to any shopper who receives or buys the buySafe protection services. Shoppers have to file a claim with buySafe to receive the payment.
BuySafe also provides a guarantee of up to $500 per transaction to ensure that a retailer met the terms of the sale, including the delivery of undamaged goods. The guarantee also can include payment of up to $10,000 in cases where a consumer’s personal identification information is stolen or compromised on a client e-commerce site.