Shopping for furniture can be a long, drawn-out process — especially online. Furniture e-Commerce sites provide consumers with access to a seemingly endless amount of brands, products and designs. As a result, they sometimes need guidance during the decision-making process.
Room & Board, an American modern furniture and home furnishings retailer, uses technology within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to effectively guide customers along this complex browsing and buying journey. With timely and relevant emails and interactions, the retailer is positioned to build loyalty and generate repeat purchases.
As a brand, Room & Board focuses on helping customers create homes they love. “We pride ourselves on providing the best customer experience both offline and online,” said Kimberly Ruthenbeck, Director of Web Experience for Room & Board. “It is important to us that the experience is seamless across channels, respectful and highly personalized. We like to focus on the ‘art of the possibility,’ while at the same time map a customer journey that is thoughtful, relevant and authentic.”
Using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Room & Board can send tailored communications at the right time to consumers. Most importantly, the platform ensures that messages are always thoughtful and aligned with customer preferences.
Predictive Decisions, a tool within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, analyzes customer behaviors and proactively delivers recommended content, offers and products. Direct conversion from customers who engage with this predictive content and then click to buy is 150% higher than the site average, Ruthenbeck reported. “And the average order value is 16% higher for web visitors who engage with predictive content versus those who did not.”
When Room & Board first engaged with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the retailer uploaded all offline and online data into the platform. Having this breadth and depth of information “made our predictive intelligence algorithms even more accurate and effective,” Ruthenbeck said. “Incorporating online reviews, in-store sales, and more has proven to deliver the most accurate advice, recommendations and personalized service. Looking at customer interactions with email and activity on our web site, we can reach out with the highest level of customer service to help each Room & Board customer find the best pieces to create a space they love.”
A Powerful Email Arsenal
Although Room & Board tries to keep customers engaged via email, “our goal is to never overstep our bounds by sending too many communications,” Ruthenbeck noted. “Instead, we aim to keep our customers informed and in-the-know about the products they’ve grown to love.”
Since implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Room & Board has shifted from a “batch-and-blast” mindset, to a more targeted and relevant approach. In fact, the retailer can send messages to customers “at each step of their journey with our brand, keeping loyal customers coming back for more,” Ruthenbeck said, “and helping us build one-to-one relationships with new prospects.”
As part of its new email marketing strategy, opted-in customers receive automated emails containing helpful content based on their browsing activities on the Room & Board site. After consumers complete a purchase online or in-store, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud delivers communication throughout the entire fulfillment process, according to Ruthenbeck. Messages span from “order confirmation, to delivery updates, customer surveys and product reviews — to ensure the journey was smooth, seamless and satisfactory.”
Because Room & Board has a brick-and-mortar and e-Commerce business, it is imperative that the retailer connects these channels to create a single, unified view of the brand.
“Salesforce Marketing Cloud helps us take a holistic approach to all channels of engagement, including mobile,” Ruthenbeck said. “For example, we send email announcements or mobile push notifications based on geographic segmentation. Customers within a ZIP code-based region also receive notifications of local store openings and store events.”
Similar to many retailers across categories, Room & Board has realized that the marketing campaigns, offers and messages that resonate best are the ones that recipients find the most relevant. So the retailer taps into customer insight to map its messages and campaigns through Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
“For example, Room & Board customers frequently express that their room never feels as complete as a room in the store,” Ruthenbeck explained. “To remedy this common concern, we used Salesforce Marketing Cloud to develop a reminder email to help them ‘complete the room.’ If a customer purchases a sofa, we’ll send an email suggesting a lamp, then decorative pillows, then, wall art and frames. Our goal is to help a satisfied customer complete the look he or she is intending to create.”