How MADE.com transformed the way we buy furniture

Published 12 October 2021 by Jenni Baker

Consumers are shopping across more channels than ever before – so it’s imperative to connect all the dots of the customer journey and provide an omnichannel experience that caters to their every need. In this article, we look at the success of MADE.com in how it has transformed the way consumers buy furniture to offer key learnings on how you can emulate its success with a strategy that is agile, flexible and seamlessly integrated across every channel. 

Read on to discover:

 

From laptops to mobiles, smart devices to physical stores, the explosion of channels and the way that consumers want to shop today presents ongoing challenges for the retail industry. According to PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, consumers are now buying products across more channels than ever, including: in physical stores (46%), online via PC (34%), online via tablet (38%), online via mobile phone or smartphone (44%) and online via smart home voice assistants (42%). 

For an industry that relies on quality and design, the ability to touch and feel big-ticket items like furniture and home furnishings could have suffered from the shift to digital, but instead, leading brands have been at the forefront of innovation with omnichannel strategies that combine the best of both worlds. 

Look no further than eCommerce lifestyle brand MADE.com to see how it’s done. By linking up the digital user journey with the advantages offered only by having a physical store presence, MADE.com has mastered the omnichannel experience and transformed the way consumers buy furniture.   

 

MADE.com: An omnichannel strategy built to last

Since launching in 2010 as a digitally native lifestyle brand, MADE.com has grown from strength to strength, reaching a milestone of £1bn cumulative sales by the end of 2020. It has more than one million active customers and 1million+ followers on Instagram, and ranks number 17 in the home and garden category with 7.43 million total website visits across desktop and mobile in the last six months, according to Similarweb.

MADE.com’s mission is to make high-end designer furniture and homewares “accessible to everyone”. As an eCommerce brand born in the digital world, it relies heavily on a digitally native audience but that hasn’t stopped the furniture seller from branching out into brick-and-mortar to connect all the dots of the customer journey. 

Its strategy is built on four key pillars: Investing in operational excellence; building brand awareness; scaling its curated homewares platform; and further international expansion. 

Key to all of this is an eCommerce platform that provides an inspiring and seamless customer experience. With an average of nine new collections launched every week, its product catalog is made up of over 6,000 curated furniture and homeware products to ensure that its large, active and loyal consumer base are constantly getting something new.

Its business model is centered on a flexible, asset-light supply chain, vertically integrated across all functions and processes. This covers the entire product lifecycle from product development and sourcing (including concept design, development, production and ordering) through to global shipping, warehousing and home delivery. 

By leveraging a successful marketing playbook, MADE.com has focused its efforts on promoting brand recognition, through the use of influencers and advocates, in addition to user-generated content turned into marketing collateral. It has also been known for unique brand collaborations which combine firepower to unlock new audiences for the brand.

MADE.com also leverages its customer relationship management platform and proprietary customer behavior data to engage in a much more tailored and personalized way. And rather than dictating trends, its TalentLAB crowdfunding platform puts the power in the hands of customers allowing them to have their say on what they want to see. 

To support its longer-term vision to be the go-to destination for design-led home lifestyle products, MADE.com has also developed a curated homewares platform to sell like-minded and curated third-party homeware brands to improve order frequency, retention, and the lifetime value of each customer.

Perhaps most notable is how MADE.com bridges the gap between online and online, through innovative tech-charged physical showrooms that include features such as touch-screens, large 360-degree displays, postcard printers, and a QR code system to enable shoppers to buy and conveniently deliver to their home.

 

5 tips to level up your omnichannel experience today

MADE.com’s digital-first mindset, combined with learnings from traditional retail with a tech-focused twist, has enabled the brand to redefine the furniture shopping experience. Here are five tips to help you on your own journey: 

  1. Connect all the dots of the customer path to purchase - online and offline
  2. Build the right technology, infrastructure, and supply chain to enable growth
  3. Leverage customer behavior data to engage with them in a more tailored way
  4. Collaborate with influencers and advocates to enable social shopping
  5. Equip your teams with the right digital skills to cover all of these channels

 

For any business to thrive in today’s world, you need to equip your teams with the digital know-how to provide an agile, flexible omnichannel experience that meets the expectations of consumers across whichever channel they are purchasing from. 

 

What Can I Do Next?

Circus Street offers a range of training programs dedicated to the world of eCommerce. To help build the right strategy and provide a best-in-class agile, flexible, omnichannel experience for customers, sign up for a free trial and level up your eCommerce today.

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