As a British retailer selling beds, mattresses, and bedroom furniture both online and across 170+ stores for more than 70 years, Bensons for Beds faces a unique challenge. The experience of shopping for beds and mattresses and trying them out in-store — as well as the ability to get assistance from an in-store associate — is difficult to replicate in an online, two-dimensional setting.
"When we look at the challenges online and why people don't buy online, some of that is because they can't physically interact with the product," said Graham Wilson, Director of Digital and Omni Channel at Bensons for Beds. "They don't know how big it is or can struggle to conceptualize how big it is."
To address this, Bensons for Beds was looking for ways to bring to their website the same personal shopping experience they were able to provide in their stores, while always ensuring a seamless experience for their customers.
"Any technology and any capability that we can bring to the website that enables our customers to talk to people, but also to experience the product, albeit digitally, really helps drive up that confidence and really helps push conversion," Wilson said.
To deliver this experience, Bensons for Beds teamed up with Emplifi to instantly connect their online shoppers with in-store experts using Bensons Live, powered by Emplifi Live Advisor — a one-to-one live video solution that helps brands humanize digital experiences.
Up and running in less than two weeks and in time for Black Friday, online shoppers could click on a button on the Bensons website and connect directly to a live expert in-store who can show them around the store and answer any questions they have instantly. The shopper is then able to buy the product then and there, or add it to their cart and buy later.
"In terms of the onboarding process, it was seamless and it was dead easy," Wilson said. "It was exactly what Emplifi said it would be in terms of pace that we could get live. And within the first hour, we'd pretty much done our first sale."
The Bensons for Beds team saw immediate results — making their first sale via Live Advisor within the first hour — while seeing notable increases in both their conversion metrics and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
"If you compare our online AOV [Average Order Value] to what we're seeing from a Bensons Live perspective, we're 20% up on that particular metric," Wilson said. "The most important thing for me is actually if you reflect on what our customers think of this service, and to have a CSAT of 4.7 out of five in such early days is absolutely amazing."
A key factor in driving these results? The immersive experience that one-to-one live video shopping can provide that traditional eCommerce experience can’t, while ensuring the experience is just as seamless for the in-store experts delivering these experiences.
"Being able to use technology that allows customers to experience that and see it is just a big advantage for us on the website in order to help find the right product for the customer and get them to convert," Wilson said. "The fact that [in-store experts] were able to instantly see the value that it could bring to both them and also to our customers, it was absolutely fantastic."
Check out our full interview below: