April 26, 2023

How to Build a Modern Product Registration System.

Zach Morrison

You’d be surprised to learn that many brands with a product warranty program manage it very loosely. They have a basic registration card that most people do not mail in, but many will still want to make a claim even if they don’t register. 

To offer good customer service, most brands still honor the warranty. However, brands have no clue if the warranty is still valid or how much money they are losing or making on the program.

Times are changing and brands have new tools and technology at their disposal to build a world class warranty registration process that provides better customer service and is a growth lever for the business. 

One of the linchpins for the program is the addition of a QR Code Experience. Instead of filling out a postcard and going to the post office (which very few people actually do), customers can scan a QR code on the packaging or product and register their product in seconds.   

If you are interested in building this in-house, below are 14 steps to build a modern registration program. If you get impatient after the first few steps, Brij can help you build an effective registration program very quickly. 

Step 1: Setup a dynamic QR code

You never want to print static QR codes on a product. Static codes can never be updated if you ever change your website URL and need to redirect customers  to a new page.

For the best user experience, you’ll want to use QR codes that pre-fill model numbers to save customers from the tedious step of locating that information and making errors inputting it. If it's a high-end product, you may even want the product’s serial number pre-filled, which requires QR code serialization. 

There are a ton of QR code generators out there to look into. Some popular providers are QRTiger, Bitly, Flowcode, and Beaconstack. Pricing plans start at $40/month and scale with the number of QR codes generated and also the number of scans. 

Step 2: Packaging & collateral design

The next step is to add the QR code onto the product, packaging, or an insert. There is some strategy around placement of the QR Code to maximize scanning potential so customers can find the QR code. Some things to consider include:

  • Location
  • Contrast
  • Call to action

Never use generic text like “Scan Me.” If a customer doesn’t immediately understand the benefit to them for scanning, they’ll never scan, making everything downstream meaningless. The call to action should clearly state “Scan to Register your Warranty” or something along those lines.

To execute on packaging and QR code placement, you’ll need a designer and design software such as Figma or Adobe. Design SaaS starts at $75/month. As for the design, that could be nothing if you have someone in-house or it could cost quite a bit to use a contractor or agency.

Step 3: Custom landing pages for each product

Don’t make your customer search your site or their product to find their exact model. Just like the QR code, the landing page should be tailored to the specific product that they have purchased. Don’t make your customers do the guess work to select which product they purchased from all the products you sell.

Each page should have custom imagery and content related to that product. For instance, it should contain the approach instruction guide or setup videos, and even the ability to shop complementary products.  

Depending on your resourcing, you can use an in-house development team or landing page building SaaS. Unbounce and Replo are popular landing page builders that start at $99/month.

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Step 4: Set up a product management system

If you have a lot of products, you’ll need the ability to create variant pages and manage them centrally and independently. To manage this, you can create a single product and then create multiple variants underneath it.

This requires parent-child relationships between pages and products. And the ability to edit a parent pages that propagates changes to child pages that allows for easier tracking and maintenance. If a true 1:1 registration to product is needed, create serialized codes for each individual product made. 

This aspect of the project is all back-end development work and difficult to estimate costs. This step will require alignment from your data team, customer service team, manufacturing team, and marketing team (even if you buy a solution). 

Step 5: Optimize for mobile 

The QR code scan starts with a mobile phone so the destination needs to be designed with that in mind to maximize customer engagement. This includes:

  • Compress all videos using a compression software. 
  • Convert all images to mobile-optimized web format for faster loads.
  • Pre-rendering page content to eliminate page loads
  • Adding support for swipe gestures. 

We find the best experiences look and feel like an application, but don’t require a download. 

Step 6: Survey features

While you have a captive audience, you’ll have an opportunity to capture as much information as you can directly from your customers in a user-friendly way. To maximize completion rates it’s best to ask questions one at a time. Nobody likes looking at a long list of questions in a survey. 

You can integrate with survey tools like Typeform, SurveyMonkey, and Jebbit, which start at $25/month. 

Step 7: Build a management portal

So far, we’ve looked mostly at the front-end of the QR Code and what customers will experience. When the customers start flowing, you’ll need a back-end to view and manage registrations. This is where internal teams can see:

  • User information
  • Products registered (specific product, variant, or serialized product)
  • Registration location
  • Expiration dates

On the high-end, this could be a custom build portal built on MongoDB or Snowflake. On the low-end of the spectrum, it could be an Airtable or Google Sheet connected to form fill and survey tools via Zapier. 

The low fidelity version of this would start at $12/month for Airtable and $20/month for Zapier, but could escalate quickly depending on how many rows will be in the table and how many Zapier Zaps (the equivalent of API calls) there are. The custom built portal will be even more costly than this because it will require developer time.

Step 8: Receipt verification

Many warranty registration programs require proof of purchase. The most common method of verification today is receipt upload for review. 

To reduce manual labor review of receipts, brands can use OCR tools like Veryfi or AppZen to automatically review and verify receipts. Those tools start at $500/month. Alternatively they can do this manually, which will take lots of time from their Customer Service team to be actively reviewing and approving all receipts that come in.

Step 10: Customer portal

Many customers may return to double check their account information or learn more about their warranty status. Thus you’ll need to build a customer portal where they can create a customer account to access products they’ve purchased or warranties they’ve registered for. 

You’ll want best-in-class security and convenience with the ability to do passwordless, single sign-on. On the high-end, this is a big custom development job. On the low-end, it’s possible to create a low-fidelity experience with Zendesk for $49/month, but will require a customer service headcount to manage it. 

Step 11: Reporting and analytics

The team running the warranty / product registration program is going to want to track performance. Some of the things they’ll want to see:

  • QR code scans
  • Product registration
  • Conversion rate
  • Attributable post-sale purchases
  • Engagement / pageviews
  • Clicks to website
  • Geographic distribution of engagement

They’ll want some standard reports, the ability to filter by product, date, geography, and may even want custom reports. 

Similar to other steps, it’s a big development effort, but there is also Embedded Analytics SaaS that allows a product manager to build analytics features without engineering. Some tools in this category are Explo and Cumulio which start at $695/month. 

Step 12: GDPR & CCPA compliance 

If business is going well, the warranty program will be processing and storing a lot of personally identifiable data (PII). So it’ll be very important to ensure all customer data is stored in compliant encrypted databases. And that it can be easily deleted permanently upon request. If you sell in Europe you will also need to be GDPR compliant.

Dataships is a GDPR compliance SaaS for Shopify that can help brands grow compliantly that for you. It starts at $275/month. 

You may want to consider using a GDPR compliance platform like Dataships to help you navigate this.

Step 13: Ecosystem Integrations 

In order to actually make the most of the data that you collect you’ll need to make sure that it connects to your e-commerce platform. At a minimum connect it with Shopify to understand which customers are new to the brand or existing and to your Marketing Automation Platform (Klaviyo, Attentive etc.) to make sure they are added to email marketing and social ad flows. 

Both Shopify dyan Klaviyo have an active developer community, which could help build custom integrations to your portal. Tray, Boomi, and Mulesoft all are integrations-as-a-service companies and the cheapest one starts at $695/month. 

Step 14: Confirmation Emails

The last thing you want to do is close the loop with customers who are registering in your portal. Set up automated confirmation emails for when someone registers their product. 

Make sure to also set up a flow for abandoned registrations to nudge customers who start but don’t complete the registration process. You can execute on this with Mandrill, Sendgrid ($19.95/month), or a marketing automation tool like Klaviyo.

 Ready, Set, Go! 

It’s 2023 folks. That means it’s time to say goodbye to the classic registration postcard process which is messy to manage and track and also gets minimal opt-ins from consumers.

Above we listed all the key components of building a modern registration program. It’s a massive project that could take months and likely requires a bunch of custom development work. However, we’ve also suggested a dozen No- or Low-code SaaS tools to save you money and time that combined start at $2500/month. But that price point does not account for the volume of registrations flowing through your system.

If the complexity, time, and cost of this project makes your head spin, then check out Brij. It starts at $550/month for the warranty registration module feature set. We can get you started with your first QR code initiated product registration experience in hours or days, not months. 

At the very least, we are happy to consult with you on your registration strategy any time. Get in touch to talk here!

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