April 27, 2021
  |   Ecommerce, Trends

2021 Adobe Summit Recap: Bringing the Showroom Experience to Digital Channels

The recent surge in online shopping has shed light on the large gap between what brands deliver and what customers expect. Those who will win in the digital space will be the ones that replicate brick-and-mortar experiences online. At Adobe Summit, Blue Acorn iCi’s Co-CEO, Chris Guerra, joined Lovesac’s Sue Beckett, VP of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce, to discuss why now’s the time for brands to reevaluate their digital shopping experiences to meet heightened customer expectations.

Watch the session recording here or read the recap below.

Customer Experience: The New Competitive Advantage

A Gartner study found that 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences” to customers, but only 8% of customers agree. The gap in expectations versus reality has put pressure on brands to reevaluate their customer experiences and invest in digital transformation.

3 Key Ingredients For a Superior Experience

  1. Breaking Down Data Silos
  2. Upgrading Technology
  3. Implementing a Customer-Centric Culture

Integrating Online and Offline Experiences

Disruptors in the digital space like Warby Parker became serious competitors to legacy brands due to their streamlined, personalized online experiences. But Warby Parker now has physical stores where customers can book an eye exam and try-on and purchase eyeglasses. Why? Many consumers use both brick-and-mortar stores and digital channels to educate themselves on the products and purchase.

“Omnichannel is really about giving a customer what they want, when they want it and how they want it.”

Chris Guerra, Co-CEO at Blue Acorn iCi.

Lovesac’s Journey to Bringing the Showroom Experience Online

Unlike digitally native brands, Lovesac started in brick-and-mortar stores in 1995 but needed to shift their go-to-market strategy to win over the modern shopper. The Lovesac website was primarily a research and product knowledge tool, focused on educating customers that will most likely complete their purchase in-store. 

Reaching consumers that could only engage with the brand online took on a whole new meaning when COVID-19 hit the US. “After the pandemic started, all of our showrooms were closed and we needed to quickly pivot to a 100% ecommerce model,” said Sue. Lovesac partnered with Blue Acorn iCi to transform their research, configure, and purchase experience in a way that elevates the brand while breaking down barriers to buying premium items without physically trying it.

Lovesac’s 3 Major Challenges:

  1. More than 60% of Lovesac shoppers are omnichannel
  2. Pre-COVID, lovesac.com was primarily used for product and brand knowledge
  3. Lovesac.com needed to evolve into a research, configure, and purchase journey

What Lovesac Knew:

  1. Lovesac has about a 2% unaided brand awareness
  2. Showroom demo experience is extremely important to the customer
  3. Two “simple” pieces can create a lot of confusion
  4. Shoppers can be hesitant to buy a premium-priced product online without physically trying it

“We knew that we have diverse segments, Millennial targets and even Gen Xers, so how do we meld the experience to fit all of those different targets?”

Sue Beckett, VP of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce at Lovesac

How Lovesac Responded:

  1. Added more educational elements, such as videos and user-generated content
  2. Designed two shopping journeys with different starting points: Create Your Own Sactional, starting with one seat + one side or Choose from 11 pre-configured selections
  3. Launched “Make an Appointment” feature that allows customers to schedule Showroom or virtual appointments

Since the launch of their new immersive omnichannel experience, Lovesac has seen a double-digit increase in online conversion rate and average order value and an increased time spent on the website. Additionally, they’ve seen the highest conversion rates yet in showrooms when a customer makes an appointment in-person or virtually—proving that an optimized, educational digital channel can enhance the in-store experience.

Omnichannel in the New Normal

“Digital transformation happens when there is disruption,” said Chris. COVID-19 accelerated emerging shopping trends and heightened customer expectations. Forbes found that 57% of companies needed to reconsider their entire business model in the wake of COVID-19. The relationship between the store and the website has completely changed, forcing brands to determine how to integrate the channels.

Technologies for the Optimal Omnichannel Experience

Ecommerce platforms, like Adobe Commerce or Magento Commerce, are the hub for integrated omnichannel experiences. Lovesac replatformed to Magento Commerce for its flexible admin, native functionality, and key integrations. Blue Acorn iCi, Threekit, and Magento built Lovesac’s custom 3D product configurator for their Sactional products. With Magento’s extensive ecosystem of partners, Lovesac can continue to evolve their customer experience and extend functionality such as augmented reality.

Learn more about how Lovesac is leveraging Adobe’s Magento Commerce here.

What’s Next for Lovesac.com?

  • Continuous optimization of the 3D product configurator based on shopper feedback
  • Increased Magento functionality
  • Exploration of augmented reality
  • Reimagining the entire omnichannel customer experience

3 Key Takeaways

  1. You may believe you’re delivering a superior experience, but ask your customer for feedback on their perception.
  2. When looking for the ideal omnichannel solution, remove data silos, upgrade technology, and create a customer-centric culture.
  3. Check out the Lovesac Experience at lovesac.com or download their case study.

If you’d like to create a seamless omnichannel experience like Lovesac, reach out to our team today to find out how we can help.

Shannon Abel
After graduating from Clemson University, Shannon started her career in marketing, focusing on content creation and engagement. As Blue Acorn iCi’s Senior Media Marketing Specialist, she keeps brand and retail professionals up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the digital customer experience space. She also produces and hosts Blue Acorn iCi's podcast, The Funnel. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs and hanging out at the local breweries in Charleston.
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