Oak Furniture Land

Polished Multi-Channel Marketing Yields 30% YOY Growth for Oak Furniture Land

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The Goal

  • Increase in-store and online sales.
  • Easily segment customers by location.
  • Personalise emails.

The Approach

  • Geo-location segmentation sends customers to nearby stores.
  • Post-purchase emails increase sales.
  • More relevant emails engage customers.

The Result

  • 40% year-over-year YOY in email-generated revenue during the holiday season.

In some ways, Oak Furniture Land is a multi-channel retailer story told in reverse.

Company founder Jason Bannister started by selling furniture on eBay in 2004 and then launched a website, before eventually opening up OFL’s first brick-and-mortar showroom in 2009. From that first opening – in office space at an airfield in Kemble, Gloucestershire – OFL has expanded to 62 stores throughout the UK.

While OFL’s foundation was built on e-commerce, they know the value that comes with having a physical store location.

“Once you’re in the showroom you can touch and feel the product, you can really see the quality,” said Sophia Greenslade, CRM Manager for Oak Furniture Land.

And OFL also knows the importance of setting up your marketing so that the brick-and-mortar and online complement – rather than compete with – each other. Bronto has been helping OFL with that symbiotic marketing approach since the spring of 2014.

The proof is in the numbers. OFL has been a member of The Sunday Times’ Fast Track 100 – a listing of the fastest growing companies in the UK – four years running. Its e-mail generated revenue was up nearly 60% YOY in Q3 2014 and 40% YOY in Q4.

Oak Furniture Land’s email generated revenue was up nearly 60% YOY in Q3 2014 and 40% YOY in Q4.

Geo-Targeted Messages

For OFL’s online marketing to truly impact its brick-and-mortar channel, it needed to get more sophisticated in the way it targeted customers. In particular, geography was a critical element because OFL stores can be found from Plymouth all the way up to Inverness.

OFL wanted to insert dynamic, geographic- related content into the weekly offer emails they sent subscribers. To do that, they relied on two core parts of the Bronto Marketing Platform: Segments and Workflows.

During the initial purchase – the subscriber submits their postal code. Using Segments, OFL puts the customer into the customer group for that postal code and pairs the group with store information for the area. Then, using Workflows, OFL triggers a marketing message that is personalized to include the store locations in their area. So a subscriber in Sheffield will get a list of stores in their area while someone in Manchester will get a list unique to their area.

Geo-targeting also comes in handy when OFL opens a new store, or a store holds an anniversary sale. Then it’s just a matter of determining which subscriber segment will receive the relevant message.

“This sort of geo-targeting was possible before, but it would have required at least two more of me,” Sophia said. “Now it’s much, much simpler.”

Complex Tasks Made Easy

When Sophia was first introduced to Bronto, she worried that her lack of a technical background would hinder her when it came to building emails, optimizing them and sending them out.

“This sort of geo-targeting was possible before, but it would have required at least two more of me. Now it’s much, much simpler.”

Over a year later Sophia does all those tasks and much more, and they don’t seem nearly as daunting, thanks to Bronto Marketing Platform’s ease of use.

“It uses human, rather than tech language,” she said. “You can easily find your way around. Everything’s explained very clearly. Everything just seems to make sense.”

Since Sophia and her team don’t have to worry about the “how” of their marketing, they can focus instead on creating emails that people want to see – based on their previous purchases or behaviour.

Driving Online Revenue, Too

In keeping with OFL’s multi- channel roots, those emails aren’t just about getting customers to visit showrooms – they’re also generating plenty of revenue. Being able to produce creative and targeted emails, and to do this quickly, paid off handsomely during the Christmas season. Campaigns from a four-day super sale in early November through to an end-of-year spectacular – with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day in between – combined to help OFL enjoy a 40% YOY boost in email-generated revenue during November and December.

Outside the Christmas season, OFL has also been driving online sales by using past-purchase information. In the furniture industry, customers often purchase one or two pieces of a range in-store. That makes them ideal recipients for targeted emails showcasing other furniture pieces in that range.

“They already know the quality,” Sophia said. “So they’re more likely to respond with ‘Yes, I would like a coffee table to match the other furniture I recently purchased’.”

Encouraged by its results, OFL has plans for more, including extending those post-purchase messages into a multi-message series. They’re also developing a welcome series and have begun looking at ways to increase their rate of subscriber acquisitions.

“We can be much more dynamic and personal, and I’m a strong believer that has a great effect,” Sophia said.

Campaigns from a four-day super sale in early November through to an end-of-year spectacular provided a 40% YOY boost in email-generated revenue during November and December.

“Relevancy is key. Customers see these messages and think: ‘They know about me and they’re showing me things I want to know. I’m going to purchase’.”

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