edna’s WhatsApp Business API Solution Helps Major Furniture Retailer First Furniture Hypermarket Boost Sales on Its Website
First Furniture Hypermarket is one of the largest online furniture stores in the CIS region with an actively developing federal retail and wholesale network. The company follows an omnichannel business model and accepts more than 20,000 orders per month. The hypermarket’s retail and franchise networks include 91 stores in the region.
Meeting Customers Where They Are: Customers these days love to talk to brands the same way they do with their loved ones – over chat. They typically start their product discovery online and prefer to message businesses to make inquiries about a product’s details, availability, pricing, delivery timeline, etc. before deciding on a purchase. They invariably prefer brands that have a messaging option available – in fact, research shows that nearly 72 percent customers choose brands that have live chat, and 75 percent millennials prefer to text rather than call up businesses. Brands that are easy to contact over chat are more likely to gain the customer’s trust and see a lift in sales. While the furniture brand did have a chat option available (it used Jivo chat) on its website, it lacked a proper two-way, rich messaging channel that its customers were already familiar with – a channel where the company’s support agents could guide customers on any questions they have, share useful links, understand customers’ needs, recommend products, and so on. As a result, it was not able to cater to its customers properly and failed to establish personal connections that would keep them loyal.
Low Conversion From Lead to Order: The furniture retailer lacked a channel where it could proactively share product-related information (prices, delivery dates, similar product recommendations, payment terms) with customers without the latter having to leave their homes. It was not able to share product restock alerts, announce special discounts, nudge customers toward purchases over conversations. As a result, the conversion rate from lead to order was not up to its satisfaction.
The retailer realized that customers today spend more time on WhatsApp than any other app. In fact, it was the most highly converting messenger in the region. WhatsApp’s value proposition was too great to be ignored – research on WhatsApp use in the region revealed that customers checked their WhatsApp at least 23 times on average each day. Over 90 percent residents of large cities used the app every day. Up to 88 percent customers clicked to open their WhatsApp messages and 35 percent customers reacted to messages. The average message opening time was 30 minutes. Also, 91 percent of the messages were delivered. The retailer decided to leverage the WhatsApp Business API for its customer communication needs. It had some key objectives in mind:
- to increase sales on its website
- to boost conversion from lead to order by 20 percent
- to increase customer loyalty
To achieve these ends, it chose edna to be its WhatsApp Business API provider. The implementation process involved one developer and two implementation specialists. It took two days to implement the API and the entire configuration was completed in two weeks. A WhatsApp widget was also added to the brand’s website for consultations on products, orders and general questions. The brand started providing quick consultations over the channel. It also began sharing order-confirmation-related updates with customers in case of call failure. The retailer’s CRM was integrated with the edna API to automatically send messages via WhatsApp if the client did not answer the call.
General Director, First Furniture Hypermarket
Buying furniture is a long process. It’s more convenient for clients to consult with specialists via chat: discuss details, get additional photos or useful links, request a project or estimate. The chat is always at hand, you can get an answer at any time. In addition, chats are more effective than calls: one operator can handle several requests at once.
Adding WhatsApp as a communication channel resulted in tangible benefits for the retailer.
- Within the first month itself, WhatsApp became the most popular communication channel.
- Almost 35 percent of all chat communication by the business was carried out on WhatsApp.
- Conversions from lead to order increased by 19 percent.
- NPS scores, indicators of customer loyalty, increased by 4.9 percent. More customers were seen returning for repeat purchases.
- Customer service got a huge boost and customer satisfaction increased significantly.
- Customers were seen returning to the brand for repeat purchases.
Leveraging the WhatsApp Business API helped the company achieve the goals it had set for itself in a very short span of time.
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