This home furniture retailer achieves more turnover, a higher conversion rate and faster loading speed with the latest e-commerce technology.
Anyone who shops for furniture online wants to be well informed. It’s difficult to commit to a long-term purchase such as a sofa without seeing it or sitting on it. Will it fit correctly against the living room wall? Will it completely clash with the paint colors? What is the texture and color of the fabric really like? How are customers to chose a big-investment piece online and feel confident in their purchase decision?
Thankfully, Lifestyle4Living is able to provide support for its online customers the way sales associates do in stationary stores with the help of FACT-Finder Next Generation.
The customer journey in online furniture stores
With 30 years of experience, a selection of more than 10,000 products and attention to detail for every customer, Lifestyle4Living demonstrates how online furniture retail succeeds. The product range includes individual pieces, complete sets for interiors and a wide variety of garden furniture.
The online store reaches a six-digit number of visitors per month, with two-thirds of those visiting via mobile. Benjamin Vinke, Head of Marketing and Business Intelligence at Lifestyle4Living, shares detailed insights into their customers’ behavior: how visitors navigate the online store and what is particularly important during the customer journey.
Vinke says, “The inspiration and product selection phases typically merge. Consumers who want to buy a sofa go to in store or look online – right from the start, the customer is very involved with the product. Most of our customers enter the system not via the homepage, but directly via the product. Then they go into a further selection process, look for similar furniture and compare alternatives.”
“Customers appreciate our advisory service, especially when it comes to making a purchase decision.” He continues, “After all, anyone who wants to buy a high-priced piece of furniture online often needs knowledgeable tips and confirmation that they have made the right decision.”
A change that was worthwhile: larger shopping carts and more sales
For customers to make a purchase decision, it’s necessary to narrow down options to a small selection of relevant products that are in line with their preferences and price expectations. In brick-and-mortar stores, there are designated sale associates who help in this process. While shopping online, however, customers are left to make these choices alone, which is why functions such as search and navigation are such valuable tools in helping customers be decisive.
Lifestyle4Living replaced its previous search solution with FACT-Finder Next Generation. The goal was to simplify product searches, increase conversion and achieve faster speed in shop management.
“Thanks to FACT-Finder, we are now much faster in implementing new shop functions,” says Vinke. “I no longer need to write a ticket to our IT for topics such as personalization, guided selling, recommendation or merchandising. Instead, I can simply activate it in FACT-Finder and test it. This is a great added value for us. In addition, we are already seeing positive effects on the conversion rate and order value after the first few months.”
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Easy integration and fast ROI
“FACT-Finder’s price-performance ration is excellent. The monthly costs are amortized in a very short time,” says Vinke about his experience with our solution.
“The technical implementation also played a decisive role for me. I spend a long time dealing with the topic of site search and compared different providers. A great advantage of FACT-Finder is that it interacts with our store without interfering with the architecture of our website. With FACT-Finder we remain completely independent. The store communicates with the search – but the design of the pages remains with us.”
Vinke continues, “I would like to add that the cooperation also works very well on a personal level. I liked the FACT-Finder team right from the start, and every time I have a question, I get quick and friendly help. The foundation for long-term cooperation is solid – which is very important for such a central shop component as search.”
Effective guided selling with AI
Lifestyle4Living’s e-commerce team set high goals for its future, including increasing sales via personalization, high-quality customer consulting and more efficient processes. Automation plays a key role in achieving these. For example, consultations that are still carried out by telephone, chat or e-mail today, will be personalized experiences on the website in the future, with the help of AI.
“As a mathematician, I find the topic of artificial intelligence extremely exciting. And I believe that it will become extremely important in the coming years, especially in marketing,” says Vinke. “AI certainly offers a wide range of possibilities and, in my opinion, automation should be the number one goal.”
He continues, “Because the better we simplify processes for the customer and improve the customer experience, the more satisfied the customer will be in the end. And on the other hand, our staff can focus on their core tasks of pre-qualifying and curating the offers so they can get better and better.”
“In FACT-Finder, we see technology that will largely take over the automation of processes – one that is today already alleviating us in many areas. For example, when new products come into the shop and become top sellers, FACT-Finder enhances them according to our rules in search rankings and recommendations. This improves the customer experience without the need for manual configuration,” concludes Vinke.