Industry Eye: Case Study - Dynamic Images Prove Powerful for Room & Board
PROBLEM: Room & Board, a multichannel furniture retailer, needed an image-serving platform for its website that could provide dynamic images and deploy images of its latest merchandise.
SOLUTION: Partnered with an image server software provider.
RESULTS: In the year-plus since the image-serving platform was launched, online revenues are up 251 percent, overall company revenues are up 98 percent and it's realized an annual return on investment of 1,340 percent across all channels.
Selling big-ticket items online, such as custom-made furniture — sofas, cabinets, cocktail tables and more — is difficult enough. Throw in consumers visiting your website being greeted with static, often outdated product images, and the task becomes almost impossible. Such was the burden for Room & Board.
The Minneapolis-based custom furniture retailer recognized it needed to upgrade its image-serving platform and hired Adobe Scene7 to do so. Room & Board was interested in the vendor's visual configurator tool, which allows consumers to manipulate sizes, materials and design components by clicking, dragging and dropping to create exact images of the custom-made furniture they desire.
The configurator tool provides photo-realistic images to consumers and also conveys the functionality of the furniture. The tool, for example, shows how different drawers in a cabinet can be best used. The configurator also has proven to be a cross-channel driver — sales associates in Room & Board's 12 retail stores access the tool to show shoppers visual representations of the custom furniture they're looking for.
Today Room & Board averages a 10 percent conversion rate for consumers who get to the completion stage of the configurator tool. The number of shoppers adding furniture to their "wish lists" as a result of the configurator tool, as well as bookmarking those specific pages, is also increasing each month.
"It was a big hesitation for us to sell custom online, just because you're investing a significant amount of money in a case good [nonupholstered furniture, namely chests and cabinets], and not being able to touch or feel it is a limitation," says John Schroeder, Room & Board's business intelligence manager. "So for us to do it, we knew the quality of that image had to be as photo-realistic as possible."