How is the in-store retail customer experience evolving?
American retailers appear to be facing a crisis. Brands like JC Penney, American Apparel, and Sears are all closing stores and customers there...
Furniture retailer DFS recently announced impressive sales growth of 17.7% for the past year. This success was achieved thanks to a three-pronged business strategy:
1. Create ranges with broader appeal
2. Expand physical presence – open more stores
3. Develop the omnichannel
The first two strategies are quite standard for any retailer, particularly in furniture, which is not frequently purchased. It’s important to appeal to a broad range of customers or else your brand becomes defined in a certain way. It’s also important to have any many retail outlets as your business can afford to support.
But I was really interested to see that the key business development strategy of DFS includes the use of omnichannel retail – and with a boost in sales of almost 18% there is a clear argument that their strategy is working.
DFS overhauled the customer journey with a focus on omnichannel. Some highlights of the changes were:
1. Adding online order tracking to their website so customers always know where their products are.
2. Creating a new online product viewer on the website to offer a much better visual experience when shopping online.
3. Rolling out in-store technology that allows customers to see products in many more situations and colour ranges.
Their focus has not just been about making the online shopping experience better – although their website now accounts for about 40% of all furniture-related web traffic in the UK – but also improving the in-store experience. Giving employees and customers the ability to visualise the furniture they can see in entirely different surroundings adds to the in-store experience and clearly is helping to drive sales.
It’s great to hear success stories from companies like DFS, showing that an intelligent use of the omnichannel can translate into genuine business growth. http://internetretailing.net/2016/03/dfs-focuses-omnichannel-reports-ecommerce