WebFronts® Optimized Furniture Experience Entices Online Shoppers Ready to Buy
Photo: Don Kaveen

Searching for new kitchen furniture online? Chances are you’re ready to buy.

Unlike other industries, where the majority of online searches are informational, nearly two-thirds (62.3%) of searches for the furniture sector are transactional. In other words, most of the users searching for furniture products online are ready to purchase.

This, according to “Google Search Intent, by E-Commerce Sector” published on MarketingCharts.com in January 2022, bodes well for independent retailers with the latest customer-facing furniture upgrade on their WebFronts®. 

RWS’ enhanced furniture experience, rolled out as an automatic upgrade to all WebFronts® levels earlier this year, is an intuitive user experience that makes it easy for shoppers to find and purchase their dream furniture.

It’s imperative to deliver on the dramatically increased shopper expectations set by the e-commerce pioneers of the furniture industry the likes of Wayfair, Amazon and IKEA.

The result of this evolution (eight out of 10 consumers have bought furniture online!) is a self-sufficient online shopper that expects a more personalized experience and to find the answers they want, all without having to interact with a human, according to Retailer Web Services CEO Genna Majuta. 

“Shoppers want to feel unique, so personalized recommendations and marketing along the entire shopper journey are in high demand,” said Majuta.

“There’s also a need for websites to proactively answer important questions a shopper may have: What colors does this couch come in? What are the upholstery options? Is there a matching recliner? Is assembly required? Is it in stock? When can I get it?”

And the list goes on.

To meet demand, RWS’ optimized furniture experience provides only shoppers with robust and complete product data that’s highly accessible. Majuta notes, “We’ve increased the amount of data we’re collecting and molding the new furniture experience around it; shoppers can see applicable product options such as sizes and colors and create their own packages of related items from a single product page.

“From this initiative, retailers can expect an increase in conversions, including more store visits, more phone calls and, of course, more online orders.”

As the foundation of the furniture shopping enhancement, the RWS development team built a product management system (PIM) capable of housing the new data concepts and relationships that were needed. Just a few of the furniture brands housed in the PIM include:

Ashley Furniture
Best Home Furnishings
International Furniture Direct
Jackson Furniture
Liberty Furniture Industries

Personalization fulfills shoppers’ expectations

A 2022 trend for furniture e-commerce brands, personalization in marketing has rapidly become a customer expectation. According to Accenture, a whopping 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.

The RWS furniture experience delivers personalization throughout the shopper’s path to purchase in several ways:

  • A WebFronts Level 4 website creates a consumer profile when a shopper first comes to the site.
  • The products they view during their session are tracked, and after they share their name and email, the system sends them highly targeted emails to keep them engaged.
  • The system allows consumers to create an account where they can access their “Wishlist,” which can be curated for every room in their home
  • The system tracks cart activity and sends friendly emails to remind shoppers of items they left behind, linking directly back to their cart so they can easily complete their purchase when ready. 
  • “Recently viewed” items are tracked and displayed to shoppers as well as recommended similar items and the items “Customers also viewed.”

A robust list of features that includes:

  • Furniture sets: The ability for a shopper to create their own package from a product page
  • Wishlist*: Shoppers can build a Wishlist for every room and access it on demand
  • “Customers also viewed”:  When a shopper is on a product page, they’ll see what other shoppers who looked at the same item also viewed
  • “Recently viewed”: Shoppers can see a list of products they personally viewed
  • Product quick view: Shoppers can click the “quick view” button to open a modal with key product data and either access the product page for that item, or close the modal so they don’t lose their place in their search
  • Custom sidebar filters: Retailers can choose filters to include on their website, making it easy for shoppers to search by criteria such as “on sale,” “clearance,” “best seller” or other preferred data points
  • Filter by rating: Shoppers can filter by star rating and product reviews
  • Select a perfect item: Shoppers can select their perfect item on a single product page when multiple options, such as colors, exist.

*The Wishlist feature is available as an automatic upgrade only on Level 4; all other features apply to all levels at no additional cost to retailers.

Majuta added, “As we rollout new features and improve the system, we want all our customers to benefit from these advancements and be confident that we’re helping them to compete at the highest levels online.”

Retailers with existing RWS websites will continue to notice additional enhancements as more brands are migrated into the new PIM. For new RWS subscribers, Majuta said a new website with all the latest features and data can be up and running within 30 days.

READ MORE on Optimizing the Furniture Experience in Digital Advisor Magazine.

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