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DFS website launch heralds its ‘digital transformation’

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DFS has launched a new website to support what it heralds as its digital transformation.

The 44-year-old sofa manufacturer and retailer says its new site now offers customers, “a fully integrated journey from inspiration to purchase.”

DFS teamed up with customer analytics business ForeSee to discover the role that the internet plays in buying a sofa. It concluded that customers are looking online for inspiration, research and to compare designs, colours and price online before visiting a store. But they don’t commit to buy until they have seen and tested the sofa for themselves.

Customers are also using new devices to access the website: more than 30% of visits are now from tablet computers, up from 10% six months ago. And that is set to increase as tablets rise in popularity.

Today DFS says visitors to and can take more control of their journey. They can browse the range through online videos, buying guides and sofa visualisers, chat to customer advisers, who use an optimized checkout, by video, text or phone, and continue their browsing experience across devices from touchscreen kiosks to iPads while also adding products to favourites lists and updating their shopping baskets across devices.

They can also search for a store based on where they can see a specific product model, order colour swatches on selected ranges and track their orders.

Tim Stacey, DFS online and business development director, said: “Our digital transformation directly addresses the needs of our customers, offering a rich and fully integrated experience, from inspiration to purchase.

“This investment will play a significant role in building on the strong performance DFS continues to deliver in 2013, as we continue to outperform the rest of the sector.”

The new website was project managed by Salmon, built on IBM’s WebSphere Commerce platform and hosted by Rackspace. Partners included Grand Union for customer experience design, Amplience for dynamic imagery and video, WorldPay for online payment solution, ForeSee for customer experience analytics, Rackspace for hosting and Mediacom for search optimisation.

“We now have a world-class platform underpinning our business and supporting our digital transformation, said Russell Harte, head of multichannel, development and delivery at DFS. “It contains all our product details, customer information and orders and is supporting our multichannel operation. Our customers are now able to interact with us through whatever channel they choose, which is leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty and will ultimately drive DFS sales.”

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