UK Flooring Direct

Laying the Groundwork for Email Success

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The Goal

  • Drive customers from sampling through to conversion.
  • Further segment customers.
  • Explore basket recovery strategies.

The Approach

  • Better educate customers about flooring.
  • Increase email subscribers.
  • Launch Cart Recovery through Bronto.

The Result

  • Email revenue is up by 159%.
  • Email revenue share nearly doubled from 6.5% to 11.4%.
  • Cart Recovery drove 27% of yearly email share.

UK Flooring Direct built a successful online flooring business by sending samples and promptly following up with attentive customer service, but it was struggling to integrate email as a cost-effective nurture tool to stay in touch with customers.


“All we could do was batch and blast,” explains Josh Ashby, UK Flooring’s commerce director. So Ashby chose to upgrade with Bronto, and the results were immediate. Email revenue rose 159% in the first full calendar year, and the percent of email-generated revenue has almost doubled from 6.5% to 11.4%. The company is making progress in using email to build a more personalised customer experience.

Launched in 2004, UK Flooring outgrew its bespoke commerce platform and eventually switched to NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Advanced. In the first full year on the platform, company revenue grew 45%. Ashby said he was already interested in Bronto’s richer functionality, so when NetSuite acquired Bronto, it made perfect sense to move. The connection between Bronto and NetSuite is critical: Any customer touchpoint recorded in NetSuite is available in Bronto within 15 minutes. That information feeds segmentation and automated emails and allows UK Flooring to suppress emails to customers that are finishing a sale by phone.


“The amount of data that we can leverage allows us to be more granular with customers and where they are in the buying cycle. Have they sampled? Have they not sampled? Have they recently visited the website? If they did, what products or samples have they looked at or been quoted on? We then use all that information to make our emails more relevant to the user,” Ashby says.

The Value of a Welcome Series

Once a website visitor requests a flooring sample, Ashby launches them on an email welcome series to not just encourage them to buy, but to better understand how to determine what they need and what will look good. The six-part welcome series is content-driven, with advice such as how to select the right size planks for the size of the room. “The welcome series is about taking people that have started the journey with us through samples and trying to nudge them further through the funnel,” Ashby says. It is aptly dubbed Floor Academy.

To further grow the subscriber base with customers higher in the sales funnel, Ashby also added Pop-up Manager, which averages a sign-up rate of 2.5% of new visitors. He explained that in the past, the company only actively collected an email address when a customer requested a flooring sample.

Deploying Cart Recovery

Since implementing Bronto’s Cart Recovery app, which sends emails when customers add items to their basket and then abandon it, those emails now accounts for nearly a third (27%) of the yearly email revenue share. “That has certainly been a key contributor in improving email’s performance and share of revenue,” Ashby says.

The NetSuite integration is a critical reason the basket recovery programme has worked so well. The first email is sent within 15 minutes of abandonment, the second two days later and third after seven days. “Without the integration of Bronto and NetSuite, we would never have felt confident doing a longer basket recovery series because we wouldn’t have known whether that customer had ordered offline. Seventy per cent of our business is done through our call centre, although it’s driven by the website. With the link with NetSuite, we are consistently checking that customer record for any offline orders or activity that should come off the cart recovery cycle,” Ashby says.

Improving the Omnichannel Approach

Another benefit of using SuiteCommerce Advanced and Bronto together is the ease of populating data as it comes in from one system or the other. “All customer records and order records go into Bronto, and some of the fields on the customer records are two-way fields. If someone has abandoned a basket on Bronto, the information goes back into the NetSuite field, triggering a near real-time email notification to the sales agent assigned to that customer and the sales team leader. They can then use the information to approach the customer and do what, in some cases, you can’t do with an email – have a discussion with the customer. This is particularly helpful for higher value orders.”

“It’s key for us,” says Ashby. “We are doing some nice email campaigns and segmentation, but what’s important is we can leverage multiple interactions from the NetSuite customer record to tailor the communication the customer is receiving with complete confidence. We know that we can see the history of interactions with a customer and prevent messages from sending if a call has been made recently or we’ve logged a visit to the showroom, for example,” Ashby says.

Exploring Segmentation as UK Flooring Grows

UK Flooring’s next step will be to leverage even more customer data. “As customers talk to us on the phone and give us details about the room they are redoing and the project’s timeline, we can use this to shape the campaign and email series,” Ashby explains. “We will personalise the content using Bronto’s new ‘clicked link in email node’ to drive subsequent emails based on what specifically they like or engaged with on the previous ones. Eventually, we hope to leverage data such as an address change, which means the customer might be in the market for new flooring, or third-party demographic information that could suggest the point when someone would be renovating.”

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