Cutting-edge retailers are integrating new tools and features into their e-Commerce sites to make the online shopping experience more interactive and enjoyable. Customization solutions, for example, empower shoppers to create their own products, mix-and-match inventory, and produce one-of-a-kind collections that suit their personal tastes and styles.
Serena & Lily has increased e-Commerce engagement, site dwell time and average order value (AOV) substantially since implementing shopping customization solutions on the online store. The home décor retailer utilizes Product Configurator, a product customization platform from Fluid Retail, a supplier of on-demand visual merchandising systems.
A Make Your Bed tool implemented for the adult and children bedding products sections initiated the journey to online customization for Serena & Lily during 2012. As of March 2013, approximately 10% of all e-Commerce site visitors use the interact with the resource, according to Melissa Richardson, Director of e-Commerce and Online Marketing at Serena & Lily. In addition, these shoppers have 88% higher AOV and spend 115% more time on the web site compared to consumers not utilizing the feature.
Due to the success of the Make Your Bed option, Serena & Lily recently expanded the offering to include a Mix & Match Crib tool, for an improved browsing and buying journey for expectant parents. With this addition, AOV and traffic metrics calculated to date for the customization platform are expected to “grow substantially,” Richardson reported. “Our prenatal audience is our most engaged customer segment, mainly because these shoppers have a deadline by which they need to buy all their bedding and assure their nurseries are prepared.”
Using the interactive crib product customization tool, consumers can mix and match bedding, glider chairs and wall paint options to create their own unique nursery designs. This ability to personalize the shopping experience empowers customers to build their own interior design concepts, leading to increased engagement and conversion rates on the e-Commerce site.
While customers in the prenatal segment did not request customization directly, “metrics from the adult and children bedding tools indicated that a similar capability would add value to the nursery shopping experience,” Richardson said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Customization was relevant to this segment because “our nursery business recently has become more ‘a la carte:’ Customers want the flexibility of mixing and matching different options.”
Regarding how consumers are expected to interact with the Mix & Match Crib tool, Richardson predicted that many shoppers will interact with the feature by creating several nursery design options until they know the gender of their baby. Consumers then will share their concepts with friends and family via social networks such as Pinterest and Facebook for instant feedback on their creations.
Tailored bedding designs are “definitely among the most shared items on our site,” Richardson explained, “primarily via email, then through Facebook and Pinterest. We also invite selected interior designers and other tastemakers in the home goods space to create looks using the customization tools then promote them across social networks.”