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Why Furniture.com thinks furniture retailers have room for better analytics
Furniture.com is rolling out new web-based analytics it says will help furniture retailers to get a better read on customer satisfaction and supply chain management. The program is now being implemented at Levitz Furniture Co. and Harlem Furniture.
As a way to sign up more large furniture chain retailers and possibly other multi-channel merchants in different segments, Furniture.com is rolling out a new web-based analytics program it says will help retailers to get a better read on customer satisfaction and supply chain management.
Numerous other vendors offer web retailers analytics programs. But Furnitiure.com, No. 127 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, believes its new analytics and data performance program is different.
For instance, Furniture.com isn’t selling the program as a stand-alone application. Instead Furniture.com is using its new Customer Preference Data program as a new valued-added service to attract more furniture retailers and use Furniture.com as their web retailing channel and e-commerce services provider.
The new service will be marketed to the 50 largest furniture chain retailers, 25,000 other furniture retailers and possibly to other online retailing segments, says Furniture.com CEO Carl Prindle. Furniture.com is now rolling out the new service to several large furniture chains, including Levitz Furniture Co. and Harlem Furniture, Prindle says.
Each day visitors view about 3 million product images on Furniture.com, shop an online inventory of about 25,000 SKUs, use an interactive room planner and read content such as design advice in the site’s online library. With each shopper interaction and completed transaction, Furniture collects extensive customer satisfaction information, including how customers react to specific prices and styles. Furniture.com previously compiled and studied the data internally. But now as part of its e-commerce agreement with chain retailers, the data will be gathered and reported on a real-time basis to merchandising and marketing managers who will use the information to better manage their inventory and sales programs, Prindle says.
Furniture.com`s Customer Preference Data program will be implemented with easier web-enabled reporting tools, daily site traffic and transactions measurements and more concise customer feedback reports that give specific recommendations to retailing managers such as pricing certain items less or removing them from inventory altogether. “Furniture.com analyzes customer’s reactions to every retailer product, assessing whether the customers like the item’s style and price,” Prindle says. “The information is presented real-time to retailers in easy-to-read reports.”
Other retailers such as supermarkets and discount chains have long used checkout data to improve their ability to stock the right product at the right price, Prindle says. But as a competitive advantage, Furniture.com wants to be among the first companies to offer furniture retailers a web-based performance system that specifically measures customer satisfaction, price points and reaction to specific items. “Furniture’s relatively high price point and the infrequency of transactions make what happens before the sale far more interesting than actual transactions,” Prindle says. “The real opportunity for furniture retailers is to understand whether something is likely to sell before it does, and if it’s not selling, why not. Technology that answers these questions will be critical to maximizing opportunity both online and in stores.”
Furniture.com believes that giving furniture retailers more access to customer satisfaction and web performance data will help the company gain more e-commerce customers in furniture retailing, which Prindle says generates more than $68 billion in annual sales.
As a revenue stream, Furniture.com collects an unspecified percentage of each e-commerce transaction, Prindle says.