Customer Spotlight Story: Living Spaces

Living Spaces Boosts Special Orders by 20% with inRiver

Company Highlights

  • Home Furniture & Housewares Industry
  • 2,000+ Employees
  • 20+ Brick-and-Mortar Locations

Founded in 2003, Living Spaces is a furniture retailer that offers products through 24 stores across the United States and an e-commerce site, offering a wide array of styles. In an effort to become the #1 home furnishings brand in the United States, Living Spaces focuses on blending quality and value with smooth customer experience.

We actually have been able to build in-store studios. These are screens where customers can render their products in-store. In the past, we would not have been able to do that because the data was just not reliable. Now, colleagues can keep track of inventory themselves and be sure that it is correct.

Kevin Hunzker, E-Commerce Quality Assurance Analyst, Living Spaces

Challenge

Despite widespread success with its brick-and-mortar stores, Living Spaces knows that beating market competition means adapting to the demanding world of consumer-driven digital commerce guided by new rules of engagement. To meet these new demands, Living Spaces added an EpiServer CMS system to its existing ERP system, creating a setup that seemed capable of supporting e-commerce goals.

But it wasn’t long before challenges started to emerge. As they built the e-commerce site out further, the ERP system wasn’t able to handle product information and creating web-specific attributes proved complicated. The ERP system also wasn’t well-suited for creating new filters for easier customer navigation, SEO optimization, or A/B testing of different products across the e-commerce site.

It simply took a long time and was too big of an effort from a lot of people in the company. In general, we needed to be more self-sufficient on the marketing and e-commerce side. To achieve that, we needed a system providing a single source of truth and offering value for anyone in marketing, merchandising, and IT.

Kevin Hunzker, E-Commerce Quality Assurance Analyst, Living Spaces

These challenges became prohibitive when Living Spaces decided to build a new version of its special orders system for customizing furniture online, offering more fabric options, and qualifying products. In the past, each item would have an assortment of fabric options assigned to it. Because they were all independent, Living Spaces would have 20 products each with 30 fabric options. As fabric went out of stock, changes had to be made manually so they wouldn’t appear on the website anymore.

We needed a better way of handling all our product information. A streamlined process. What we had was just incredibly manual.

Kevin Hunzker

To meet the needs of today’s consumers, Living Spaces needed a new approach to product information management.

Solution

Because of its long-term partnership with EpiServer, inRiver had the out-of-the-box connectors Living Spaces needed for easy product information management implementation.

Instead of struggling against ERP system limitations, Living Spaces was able to create new workflows for product information management in its new special orders system. Now, the Microsoft Dynamix ERP feeds the eCommerce site with pricing and inventory information while all other product content is created, managed, and fed through inRiver. Living Spaces is using an Excel-based smart sheet solution for different suppliers to upload product information. Once approved by the merchandising team, the information is automatically uploaded and integrated into the inRiver marketing model.

Results

As a result, the special-order process has become much more consumer-friendly without complicating backend operations. With the REST API in place and scripts running updates, replacements, file uploads, and other common tasks, so much work has been automated to make life easier for the marketing team as they find innovative ways to engage customers.

We actually have been able to build in-store studios. These are screens where customers can render their products in-store. In the past, we would not have been able to do that because the data was just not reliable. Now, colleagues can keep track of inventory themselves and be sure that it is correct.”

Kevin Hunzker

All of this added efficiency on the backend has streamlined the special orders process rebuild and the results speak for themselves. After implementing inRiver, Living Spaces special orders are up about 20%.

By embracing a dedicated PIM solution, Living Spaces now accomplishes more with less in the marketing department, increasing operational efficiency, boosting customer experiences, and ultimately improving the bottom line.

 

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