DFS transforms its business with new multi-channel platform
Multi-million pound investment offers customers a fully integrated journey from inspiration to purchase
DFS today announced the launch of its new multi-channel platform and websites, www.dfs.co.uk and www.dfs.ie delivered by Salmon. The new platform offers the leading British furniture retailer’s customers a seamless, integrated journey, taking them all the way from inspiration to purchase, whichever channels and devices they use.
DFS carried out extensive research in collaboration with ForeSee, a leading customer experience analytics firm, to understand how consumers wanted to use the online environment to help them find their perfect sofa. Insights showed that customers increasingly seek inspiration, gather research and compare designs, colours and value online, before they visit a DFS store. And yet, just as when people purchase a car, they rarely commit to buy until they’ve sat in the front seat - or in DFS’ case, on the sofa.
Analytics also showed that channels through which customers access DFS’ website is changing. The increase in consumers’ use of tablets as they search for a new sofa, for example, is increasing at an exponential rate. The data shows a staggering increase from 10% to greater than 30% in website traffic from tablets in the last 6 months, a figure likely to rise as tablets grow in popularity.
DFS has responded to these insights with a multi-million pound investment in digital transformation that puts the customer right at the heart of its business. The cornerstone of this initiative is a new website, built to handle growing demand and the increasing use of digital devices, such as tablets, by customers, and is hosted by Rackspace.
Tim Stacey, DFS Online and Business Development Director said, “Our digital transformation directly addresses the needs of our customers, offering a rich and fully integrated experience, from inspiration to purchase. This investment will play a significant role in building on the strong performance DFS continues to deliver in 2013, as we continue to outperform the rest of the sector.”
DFS chose IBM’s WebSphere Commerce platform to be the foundation of their sales and marketing operation and to support all their customer touch points, including tablet, PC web, mobile, telephone sales and stores.
Customers now have more control. After browsing for inspiration on the website, they can:
- Get help with online videos, buying guides and visualise their sofa through a new colour configuration tool
- Chat (through video, text, phone) with customer advisors to discuss the many choices that are available to them – size, colour, fabric and more (Salmon have developed an optimised checkout for customer advisors which guides them through the sales process)
- Use new devices, including touchscreen kiosks and iPads, available in all 97 stores to continue their browsing experience and ‘bring their front room’ with them to the store
- Add products to their favourites list and basket visible across device
- Use social media, (Facebook and Twitter)
- Track their orders and receive update statuses
- Order colour swatches on selected ranges
- Search and select their nearest store based on where a specific product model is displayed
DFS selected a number of partners to create the ultimate experience for their customers including, Salmon to deliver the project, bringing together people, partners and systems, Grand Union for customer experience design, Amplience for dynamic imagery and video, Worldpay’s online payment solution, ForeSee for customer experience analytics, Rackspace for hosting, and Mediacom for search optimisation
Russell Harte, Head of Multichannel Development & Delivery at DFS said “We now have a world class platform underpinning our business and supporting our digital transformation. It contains all our product details, customer information and orders and is supporting our multichannel operation. Our customers are now able to interact with us through whatever channel they choose, which is leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty and will ultimately drive DFS sales.”
DFS have been making furniture for 44 years. With every sofa handmade to order, and a design to suit every home, DFS are the nation’s sofa experts.