Top 3 mobile digital innovators: Furniture retailer edition

By Wyatt Urmey

| Retail

Furniture retail — one of the world’s older professions — is turning out to be one of the greatest mobile digital innovators of our time. Furniture makers and retailers are seeing the benefits of mobile when connecting with customers and making the sales experience more engaging and seamless, both online and in stores.

Furniture retailers as mobile digital innovators

So, what exactly are furniture retailers doing with mobile technology?

Traditional retail is all about balancing the important tactical and relationship-building aspects of the in-store experience. Mobile technology can support these aspects by making inventory requiring a large showroom more accessible and available through digital. It gives sales associates access to an entire warehouse — or more — of inventory via the convenience of a mobile device.

Steve Wilder, the CIO of City Furniture, saw mobile as a way for his employees to work more closely with customers. The result was the app, ASAP (Accelerating Sales Associates’ Performance).

ASAP provides visibility to the 8,000 City Furniture SKUs in a clean user interface, moving from the dreaded green screen to the sleek iPad. This system helps sales associates make personalized recommendations through its built-in analytics and ability to create unique customer profiles. Mobile solutions have helped increase average order volume by 12 percent.

How hybrid cloud supports furniture retailers

While City Furniture is an impressive mobile digital innovator, they are just one among many. Bernhardt Furniture made a measurable impact on their business with hybrid cloud — that is, a cloud that uses both on-premises and off-premises data. This increased customer engagement during sales events by 20 percent and increased sales by 20 percent.

This isn’t just a US phenomenon, either. China’s premier furniture retailer, Markor International Home Furnishings Co., Ltd., is also using mobile to improve its customer experience with analytics and MobileFirst for iOS. Sales associates help customers browse furniture options and can record their preferences and purchase details — all with an iPhone or iPad. The data is locked away in a secure environment, and analytics provide insights into customers’ past buying behaviors in order to recommend products.

Mobile: The clear go-to choice for innovators

Mobile continues to be at the forefront of foundation technologies for enterprise investment across the industry and the world, with 71 percent selecting mobile to help their digital transformation. This technology continues to be the go-to choice for innovation for industries and enterprises large and small.

As mobile digital innovators, furniture retailers assist their sales associates by shrinking down a warehouse’s worth of inventory into the palm of one’s hand. This allows retailers to better serve and please customers while increasing sales and overall brand satisfaction.