As our world went through rapid changes, we recognized a need to dig deeper into the evolving furniture retail playbook and understand what makes a delightful online shopping experience.
To understand the elements of an effective online furniture shopping experience, we dissect the online buyer journey of the three companies from our Top 100 U.S. Furniture Retailers 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 100 U.S. Furniture Retailers report, Interior Define ranks first with the highest e-commerce merchandising index (90.5). 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 the 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.
When customers open Interior Define’s website on mobile, they can also click the “view in room” and visualize the product in their home using augmented reality without downloading an app.
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.
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 three-step process with a progress bar that indicates the next steps in the process. Customers fill in the shipping information and payment information. The last step is order confirmation.
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.
2. Room & Board
With more than four decades of experience, Room & Board is one of the leading modern furniture players focused on American craftsmanship and the use of sustainable materials.
In our Top 100 U.S. Furniture Retailers report, Room & Board has the second-highest digital merchandising index (90). The results from our research show that Room & Board has all the analyzed features and high-quality visuals.
On the homepage, there is a navigation bar with a drop-down menu that opens on hover. When browsing on mobile, you’ll notice a hamburger menu on the top left corner where you can choose product categories.
Once you select the product category, you’ll see the product feed with different filtering options: materials, heights, collections, etc. On the right side, you can choose whether you want to see bestsellers, highest rated, newest, or filter products alphabetically or by price.
Under each image on the product feed, there is information about the price range, number of colors, sizes, and finishes that you can choose from, as well as the number of reviews.
When you enter the product detail page, on the left, you can see multiple product images or get a 360-degree view of the selected product. Room & Board has a full-screen mode where customers can explore the product in 360 degrees and zoom in on the details.
Besides the rich e-commerce merchandising features on its product pages, Room & Board allows customers to use AR and see how a furniture item fits in their space. Visitors can experience AR straight through the browser without the need to download an app, which removes friction and creates a smooth and seamless customer experience.
On the right side, there is a product configurator where customers can select the size, fabric, legs style and finish, etc. The different options are shown with a thumbnail image which makes the customization simple and straightforward.
Below the fold, there is a manual control carousel with different lifestyle images and shoppable content. Room & Board also has product videos, as well as detailed product descriptions and dimensions.
On the product page, customers can also see a section with personalized recommendations for other complementary products that look good with the selected item.
Room & Board encourages customers to post images of their products on social media with #roomandboard, and they feature user-generated content on their product pages.
At the bottom of the page, customers can read reviews and filter them by most recent, most helpful, lowest rated, highest rated, oldest, or reviews with images.
When you click the “add to cart” button, you can see a pop-up with product recommendations. Room & Board has this pop-up on the mobile version as well.
Before the checkout, you can see the products in your shopping cart, the total price, the expected delivery date based on the zip code, as well as reminders for the financing options and returns and guarantee policies. Customers can also see product recommendations for other products they may like.
Room & Board 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.
Customers can sign in or checkout as a guest. There’s a five-step process on the checkout page where customers fill in the delivery address, delivery details, billing address, contact preferences, and payment information.
The overall shopping experience on the Room & Board website is pleasant, straightforward, and rich with engaging features such as 360-views, augmented reality, product configurator, and shoppable content. All these elements create a seamless customer experience and ease the decision-making process.
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 one-on-one conversations with users.
In our Top 100 U.S. Furniture Retailers report, Joybird has the third-highest digital merchandising index (89). 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, width, etc. On the right side, you can filter products by color or 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 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 “customize” 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.
Customers can visualize Joybird’s products in their space using web-native augmented reality. This way, customers can virtually try out furniture, not worrying about bad decisions and removing a huge weight from their shoulders before the big purchase.
Joybird gives customers recommendations based on products that pair well with the selected product 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 share the cart with friends and family. 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 “check out” button, you can see a cart summary. Below the pricing, there is 90-day return information. The default option is to check out 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, pleasant, and engaging. There is great consistency in the visuals and buyer journey across devices, which gives customers confidence when making a purchase. The mobile experience is optimized and functional.
Ready to explore the benefits of 3D product visualization technology and how it can help you create an engaging furniture shopping experience?