The influx of new DTC brands has raised customer expectations for online furniture shopping and helped drive growth within e-commerce.
To understand the elements of an effective online furniture shopping experience, we dissect the online buyer journey of the three companies from our Top 50 DTC Furniture Brands report that have the highest ranking based on the number of adopted features and quality of product visuals.
1. Interior Define
Interior Define is a digitally native furniture brand offering the most elevated and customized online furniture shopping experience. Since 2014, they have been delighting customers with customizable sofas available through their stunning website and Guideshops.
In our Top 50 DTC Furniture Brands report, Interior Define ranks first with the highest e-commerce merchandising index (91.5). The results from our research show that Interior Define has all the analyzed features and high-quality visuals.
The first thing you notice when you open Interior Define’s website is a navigation bar with different product categories, each with a thumbnail image, to help customers find what they are looking for in just a few clicks.
After you select a product category, you notice straightforward filtering options, where customers can pick layout, style, size, and material of the product. At the same time, under each thumbnail image, they have information about the number of fabrics and leg options for the particular product.
When you open the product detail page (PDP), on the left, you can see alternate angles, zoom in to scrutinize details, or get a 360-degree view of the selected product. Besides the click-to-zoom feature, Interior Define has a full-screen mode where customers can again zoom in on the details. Another best practice with a 360-degree view is to indicate its presence on the PDP. This is especially important for your mobile browsing experience. Interior Define solves this with an arrow circle illustration. On the right side, there is a product configurator where customers can select the fabric, legs, depth, size, cushions, etc.
Below the product visuals and the configurator, customers can see information about the price and an add-to-cart button, as well as an option to pay monthly. Besides this, there are detailed descriptions and product dimension visuals. Interior Define has simple and transparent delivery and returns policies that customers can see, even before adding the product to the cart. For customers that are hesitant about their purchase, they also offer free swatches.
At the bottom of the product page, there is a recommendation section with designer favorites, including the most important product details like price, number of fabrics, and leg options.
You can also see customer reviews that can be filtered by the number of stars.
Once you click the “add to cart” button, there’s a pop-up asking you if you want to buy throw pillows, which is a great cross-sell strategy. However, if you’re shopping on mobile, you won’t get the pop-up window because one of the best practices for creating a pleasant mobile shopping experience is avoiding pop-ups.
Before checkout, you can see all the products in your shopping cart, the total price, shipping and handling costs, as well as reminders for affordable financing, safe and convenient delivery, and flexible returns.
Interior Define uses cart thumbnails in the exact color the customer has chosen, which decreases the number of product returns. Removing products from the cart is simple and straightforward. Alternatively, you can change the quantity by clicking on the counter.
On the checkout page, there’s a four-step process with a progress bar that indicates the next steps in the process. Customers fill in billing and shipping information, as well as payment information. The last step is order confirmation. Another best practice that Interior Define uses in their checkout process is giving customers the option to mark that the billing and the shipping information are the same, so the customer doesn’t need to type the same information twice.
New customers can create an account in just a few steps, and they get incentives like real-time updates on the order status, scheduling delivery, quick checkout, and reviewing past purchases.
The overall shopping experience on the Interior Define website is pleasant, simple, and straightforward. With great design and seamless user experience, the website creates a great flow through the purchasing funnel. Customers have all the information needed to make a buying decision, and the user journey is fully optimized from start to finish.
Loaf is a fast-growing DTC furniture brand characterized by its laid-back, informal approach. Its mission is to make the buying and delivery process as simple and hassle-free as possible for customers.
In our Top 50 DTC Furniture Brands report, Loaf has the second-highest digital merchandising index (91). The results from our research show that Loaf has all the analyzed features except product reviews.
On the homepage, there is a navigation bar with a drop-down menu that opens with a click. When browsing on mobile, you’ll notice a hamburger menu on the top right corner where you can choose product categories.
Once you select the product category, you can see thumbnail images for different products. For each product, you can see a lifestyle image on hover.
Besides this, there are plenty of different filtering options on the product feed, and for each option, there’s a thumbnail image with a product drawing. You can filter products based on type, size, dimensions, seat, style, arm, fabric, and extra features. Below the filtering options, you can select whether you want to see all the items, what’s ready for delivery, or clear-out sofas, which is another great way to help customers find what they are looking for much faster.
When you open the product detail page, on the left, you can see multiple product images, including high-quality lifestyle visuals, alternate angle images, and detail shots. Customers can also get a 360-degree view of the selected product and a 4K zoom. Using the full-screen mode, customers can explore the product in 360 degrees and zoom in on the details. On the right, there is price information and the ability to choose from different colors and sizes.
Once you click to check the available colors, you can see a product configurator and a wide range of fabrics. Using the product configurator, customers can choose from a wide range of materials with different colors, patterns, and textures. What’s more, there is an engaging 360-degree viewer and sharp HD zoom in the top right corner that lets you scrutinize the details. The mobile experience with the 360-degree product configurator is equally pleasant and user-friendly.
Back on the product detail page, you can see what makes the selected product so special. Loaf goes above and beyond to highlight the best product qualities in a visual and easy-to-understand way.
Below the fold, you can get more information like product description, dimensions, information about product returns, guarantee, protection, and delivery.
Loaf gives customers recommendations based on similar products from the same product category. At the bottom of the product page, customers can get information about showrooms (or, as Loaf calls them, slowrooms), locations, and lifestyle images they share on their social media.
When you click the “add to basket” button, there is a pop-up with a product protection plan offer. Next, Loaf gives customers the ability to pick different cushions.
Before the checkout, you can see the products in your shopping cart, the total price, and financing options. Loaf also has a takeaway option where they pick up reusable furniture and donate it to the British Heart Foundation.
Loaf uses cart thumbnails in the exact color the customer has chosen, which decreases the number of product returns. Removing products from the cart is simple and straightforward. Alternatively, you can change the quantity by clicking on the counter.
When you go to the checkout page, you can see a cart summary, add your delivery information, and choose a delivery method. There’s a checkbox for the same delivery and billing address, so the customer doesn’t need to fill in the same information twice.
On the overview and payment page, customers can make a final check and choose a payment method.
The overall shopping experience on Loaf’s website is clean, pleasant, and engaging. There is great consistency in the visuals and buyer journey across devices, which gives customers confidence when making a purchase.
Joybird specializes in high-quality, customizable furniture in modern and mid-century styles. As a technology-centric company, they are committed to developing innovative digital experiences that facilitate a one-on-one conversation with users.
In our Top 50 DTC Furniture Brands report, Joybird has the third-highest digital merchandising index (89.5). The results from our research show that Joybird has all the analyzed features and high-quality visuals.
There is a navigation bar with a drop-down menu that opens on hover when you enter the home page. When browsing on mobile, you’ll notice a hamburger menu in the top left corner where you can choose product categories.
When you open the product feed, you can see visuals for different products. Under each image, there is information about the price as well as color options that you can choose from and get a thumbnail preview without entering the product detail page.
Besides category filters, there are many other filtering options like material, style, features, seating capacity, width, etc. On the right side, you can choose whether you want to see featured, popular, or newest options or filter products depending on the price.
When you open the product detail page, there are thumbnail images below the main visual that change on hover. This is different on mobile, as customers can swipe to go through the images. Besides the main visual, there are lifestyle images, a video, alternate angles, and detail shots. Customers can also view the product in a full-screen mode. On the right side, there is price information and a product configurator where customers can choose between popular, velvets, pet-friendly, and safeguard materials.
As you scroll down the product detail page, you’ll notice the sticky header with a price and a “add to bag” button.
Below the configurator, the customer can get more information like product description, dimensions, reviews, and product care. Furthermore, there’s information about the delivery below the “add to bag” button.
Joybird gives customers recommendations based on products from the same collection but also similar products that the customer may like.
When you click the “add to bag” button, there is a pop-up with a small thumbnail image of the product, total price, and an option to check out or save for later. There is also a tab with recently viewed products. This is well solved on the mobile version, as the product recommendations are below the buttons, instead of in a new tab, which is not a mobile-friendly solution.
When you click the “checkout” button, you can see a cart summary. Below the pricing, there is 90-day return information. The default option is checkout as a guest, where customers are first asked about their email address. There’s also a sign-in option for users that already have a Joybird account. At the top, there’s a progress bar with five stages: email, shipping, delivery, protection, and billing.
One of the steps that Joybird offers is product protection, which is optional. They offer two pricing plans: the “life happens plan” and the “pets protector plan.” Consumers can easily skip this step if they’re not interested and continue to billing.
The overall shopping experience on the Joybird website is clean and pleasant. Rich e-commerce merchandising features such as videos, 360-degree views, and HD zoom make online shopping pleasant. The mobile experience is optimized and functional.
DTC brands have been at the forefront of innovation in the furniture industry. To find out what makes their experience so compelling for customers, we’ve dissected the online shopping experience of the Top 50 DTC Furniture Brands. The findings are just a click away!