Achieving Omnichannel Excellence – Part II

October 24, 2018

In Achieving Omnichannel Excellence Part I, we broke down the top ten most (and least) valuable features that we reported in this year’s Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking.
Features such as Real Delivery Dates Shown on the PDP and Apply and Buy Financing topped the list. Meanwhile, features like Augmented and Virtual Reality were considered less important, suggesting that these features aren’t mainstream enough for the furniture industry to have an impact yet.

We saw the same “shiny object” theme referenced this month in McKinsey Quarterly’s “Digital Strategy: The Four Fights You Have to Win,” who noted that “Executives who aren’t conversant with digital are much more likely to fall prey to…investing in cool digital technologies (which might only be relevant for other businesses) without a clear understanding of how they will generate value in the executive’s own business models.”

Today, we’ll dive deep into the different types of retailers we benchmarked and who among them have made the largest one-year jump in omnichannel ranking, and the secret behind their success.

Types of Retailers

Throughout our research, it became clear that smaller retailers – those under $250M in sales – struggle to keep up with the larger players. They simply do not have the resources and infrastructure in place to add new features regularly. In contrast, retailers over $500M in sales have been able to make the jump by focusing on those harder-to-achieve features that shoppers would expect with a retail purchase, but not necessarily in an online one.

The omnichannel bar is rising relentlessly, with heightened shopper expectations accelerated by increased competition.

Not only do smaller retailers lag behind other players, Conventional furniture retailers continue to fall behind due to increased competition from Multi-line and Pure-play retailers.

Pure-plays, such as Wayfair and Amazon, have leveraged both their online-only focus and renewed interest from venture-capitalists to get ahead. Meanwhile, Multi-line players like Walmart and Target have scale on their side, and are most successful in implementing the right features rapidly.

Despite the competition, not all Conventional retailers have been left in the dust. The top eight Conventional players beat out many Specialty, Pure-play, and Multi-line retailers.

That said, retailers like the leading Raymour & Flanigan still have plenty of work to do in order to achieve the maximum score of 4,500 available in the Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking. While they have implemented the most furniture-specific features, there are still many gaps to fill to enhance their omnichannel presence.

The Secret to Omnichannel Gains

The complexity of furniture features means most retailers are only able to add a few features per year. But incrementalism does nothing to close competitive gaps, as supported by the same McKinsey Quarterly article, “Digital Strategy: The Four Fights You Have to Win,” and seen every day by Blueport in the furniture industry. Instead of incremental changes, some retailers have been able to make giant gains in omnichannel competence by replatforming in the last year.

Lovesac, who joined the Blueport platform earlier this year, has seen the most growth, jumping 1,174 points just since last year’s report. The features available on the Blueport platform have already led to tremendous growth for Lovesac, who reported Q2 sales up by 60%. Other retailers like Slumberland and Art Van benefited from a Salesforce replatform as well.

Forget Incrementalism

Put simply: playing catch-up is hard. As a furniture retailer looking to keep pace, and eventually pull ahead, you’ll need a platform solution that launches with all of the furniture features that matter. Anything else, and you risk being left out in the cold.

If you’re a furniture retailer looking to make that quantum leap, Blueport can help. Make sure to download the Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking and contact us today to learn more – by next year’s report, your site could be leading the omnichannel pack.