Amart Furniture has accelerated its journey to become a leading hybrid furniture retailer in Australia with support from Salesforce to access valuable customer insights, having only launched its website at the start of the pandemic.

“The last 18 months has been a whirlwind for Amart Furniture. Prior to the roll-out of our website, we had no digital strategy in place for e-commerce – so we were incredibly lucky to set up our digital foundation at a time when it would play such a vital role in how we engage, connect, and communicate with our customers,” Amart Furniture head of digital, Rachel Khoo told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

“Previously we were a data-heavy company on the sales side, but we weren’t using customer insights across digital marketing.”

By leveraging capabilities in Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud, Amart Furniture now has access to valuable insights including customer behaviours and preferences, as well as a better understanding of how people engage with the brand online and offline.

“For example, we now have the ability to tailor content depending on the user’s location and store. When our stores in New South Wales and Victoria closed due to lockdowns, the website pushed different information to customers in those states such as stay safe messages, details on what stores were closed, as well as targeted promotions to those located in lockdown-affected areas,” Khoo said.

Utilising Salesforce’s Einstein, product recommendations are provided to customers in search and cart online, alongside personalised experiences through the ‘recently viewed’ feature.

“We know personalisation is so important to customers who want to connect with a brand, even just through a website interface, and feel like they’re being served with relevant content. This enhancement of the customer journey has helped to increase conversion rates by 35%.

“With the use of other Salesforce technology beyond Einstein, we have been able to improve and enhance many other functions. For example, we can now merchandise different categories by product and locations. This means we can market specific products where we have a large amount of stock to customers based in those locations,” she said.

With significant progress being made in its digital journey, Amart Furniture is already looking to the next chapter and focusing on an omni-channel experience.

“With 67 stores across Australia, we know that our retail footprint Is one of our biggest assets and strongest competitive advantages. We want to leverage the customer data we have now to drive improved and seamless experiences across all channels.

“We’re currently building out an omni-channel roadmap to target and execute across both online and offline. Within this we want to enhance our offerings with next day delivery and click & collect, which will be fundamental to our hybrid retail experience.”

Khoo acknowledged that the furniture industry has been slower to embrace digital in comparison to other retail sectors, but why?

“Furniture is a big-ticket item and there’s a lot of brand awareness and consideration that goes into making a purchase. We don’t see as much of the impulse buying mentality,” she said.

“For a long time, other furniture retailers thought the only way to interact in this sort of customer relationship was in-store and websites were just used as digital catalogues. We were one of the first hybrid movers in the industry and things have changed exponentially for us since we made the change.

“With Salesforce, we have been able to deliver a superior customer experience and target promotions to our customer base. This level of understanding and engagement means we have found a new way to build that customer relationship and provide consumers with everything they need to be able to purchase furniture online just as they would their groceries.”