Achieving Omnichannel Excellence – Part I

October 17, 2018

Released last month, the Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking aims to dissect and understand the omnichannel furniture landscape, and provide concrete next steps for furniture retailers looking to become leaders in the space.

Becoming an Omnichannel Leader

Blueport analyzed 125 furniture retailers and the 60 ecommerce features ranked as most valuable by furniture executives. We’ve now identified who is leading the omnichannel pack and who is falling behind.

But what does it mean to be an Omnichannel leader? It comes down to the ecommerce features available on a retailer’s website – something that is simple to describe, but incredibly complex to execute.

Each year we see more retailers successfully implementing features that are now commonplace across ecommerce platforms – sale pricing, delivery tracking and responsive design to name a few. While features like these are critical to a successful ecommerce operation, they are purely table stakes at this point. The leaders of omnichannel experiences are the ones implementing features unique to the furniture industry, such as the online customization of furniture, delivery scheduling and apply and buy financing.

The Most (and Least) Important Features

The Omnichannel leaders clearly differentiate themselves from the pack by focusing on the features that really move the needle for furniture. They understand that the furniture consumer shops online as the first step in their buying process. They embrace that their stores and their websites must provide a seamless shopping experience. Here are the top ten most valuable features as ranked by furniture retailers:

1. Ecommerce Enablement
2. Delivery Tracking
3. Real Delivery Dates Shown on the PDP
4. Responsive Design
5. Zoom
6. Mobile Optimization
7. Delivery Scheduling
8. Product Reviews on the PDP
9. Purchase Store Quote Online
10. Apply and Buy Financing

Consider the feature Real Delivery Dates Shown on the Product Description Page, which provides actual (not estimated) delivery dates for when products can be delivered, and was ranked as the third most important feature by retailers. While ranked highly, only 5 out of the top 10 Conventional retailers have implemented this feature. Levin’s Furniture on the Blueport Commerce platform is a retailer who currently has this feature enabled.

Apply and Buy Financing, ranked as the tenth most important feature, allows a shopper to both apply for credit and use that credit to pay for their order during the checkout process. While important, only 7 out of the top 10 Conventional retailers have this feature, including American Signature currently on the Blueport Commerce platform.

But the top ten feature list is just part of the story. Every day we are all faced with prioritization choices and influenced by the latest “flavor of the month” website feature. As important as it is to have the most valuable features, it is equally important not to get caught up in the shiny object syndrome and focus on features that don’t matter. Here are the ten least valuable features as ranked by furniture retailers:

69. Split Order over Multiple Credit Cards
68. Augmented Reality
67. User-Generated Content
66. Digital Circular
65. Idea Board
64. Account Login Through Other Sites
63. Gift Registry
62. Virtual Reality
61. Blog Content
60. Social Sharing

Features like Augmented Reality may be very relevant to the furniture industry one day when and if it becomes a mainstream consumer tool. But until that happens, furniture retailers need to focus on the features that will really move the furniture needle and prioritize their roadmap with that in mind.

So, What’s Next?

In our next blog post, we’ll share more information from the Benchmarking Report about retailers that have made the largest one year jump in ranking by replatforming, thus gaining the most important omnichannel features in one fell swoop.

As a furniture retailer, you need a platform solution that launches with more of the furniture features that matter – with Blueport Commerce, many of these features are built into our platform out-of-the-box. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!

In the meantime, make sure to download the Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking and stay tuned for part II of this series!