July 19, 2002, 12:00 AM

Web sales soar at Design Within Reach with zoom and clickable swatches

Web revenue on products for which furniture retailer Design Within Reach added Scene7’s enhanced imaging technology rose by 45% within one month.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Web site sales increased by 45% at Design Within Reach, a San Francisco-based retailer of new and classic modern furniture, within a month of when it added clickable swatches and zoom capability for certain products.

The enhanced imaging capacity, powered by Scene7 Inc.’s Infinite Imaging Platform, was initially offered on 100 products for which the ability to see enlarged detail or different fabric treatments would increase shoppers’ confidence in making purchase decisions. Design Within Reach says it will now extend the clickable swatch and zoom features across 225 products or about 35% of its online SKUs.

The technology tackles a significant barrier to the purchase of furniture online: shoppers` inability to visualize product options and details. The enhanced imaging features allow customers to see fabric and pattern options as they would look on items under consideration, as well as greater detail on appearance and construction, such as, for example, how a table’s legs are connected to its top.

“Doing a photo shoot of a room scene can be $1,000 to $5,00 per day,” says Sheila Dahlgren, vice president of marketing for Scene7. Since the technology generates images of a piece of furniture in multiple fabric or finish options instead of requiring the retailer to actually fabricate and then shoot the item in each option, it can mean significant savings in image production costs, Dahlgren adds. Design Within Reach estimates it has cut 50% from the cost of producing marketing images on the products for which the enhanced imaging technology is offered, saving on the fabrication of multiple SKUs, shipping, studio and actual photography costs.

“Our customers love these new features, as they make the online shopping experience more tangible and enjoyable,” says Vince Barriero, Design Within Reach’s CIO. “The results have been great for our company. We were able to add the capabilities to our site in a matter of weeks and have seen sales increase for products showcased with Scene7’s technology.”

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