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Home & Hardware
See how Oak Furnitureland’s increased use of user-generated content has improved metrics and bolstered the brand’s promise of authenticity.
At a Glance
Drive e-commerce growth, increase customer interactions with social media, and find a tool to manage the increased number of engagements.
Generate more user traffic with Like2buy. Utilize Bazaarvoice Galleries for the website home page, full pages, and campaigns. Leverage Bazaarvoice moderation services to manage user-generated content.
Visitors to the Oak Furnitureland site spend 281% more time on site, conversion increases 248%, and average order value goes up by 21%.
Oak Furnitureland’s brand promise is “real furniture for real homes.” The retailer promotes its use of top-quality materials — solid hardwood, and durable fabrics — that look stylish in any home, and can hold up to the demands of everyday living. The issue, though, is how can you prove this in an online world?
For customers visiting Oak Furnitureland’s 75 retail locations across the UK, it’s easy to validate the quality and presentability of the brand’s furniture up close. They can relax on soft, comfy sofas and test out sturdy dining chairs right on the showroom floor. But how can consumers who prefer to shop online receive the same experience and know that what they’re seeing is the real thing? The challenge for Oak Furnitureland, then, is finding ways to best translate the same customer experience online.
Nothing does this better than showcasing real, authentic photos of its products in people’s everyday homes, also known as social proof. To achieve this, Oak Furnitureland started working with Bazaarvoice to build stronger connections with online customers through user-generated content (UGC).
“We find that UGC is just a lot more relatable for our audiences,” said Laura Quigley, head of PR and communications for Oak Furnitureland. “It provides inspirational content that they can see and they can engage with. Real pictures in real settings show how our furniture blends seamlessly into customers’ everyday lives, where you’ve got dogs jumping on the sofa and children chucking their school bags in the hallway at the end of the school day.”
While UGC content performs well in any business environment, it emerged as a critically important tool during the pandemic. Nearly all of the photos on Oak Furnitureland’s Instagram are of its products in real people’s homes. Previously, the brand would have relied more heavily on photo shoots, but that hasn’t been possible with COVID-19. So it increased its use of UGC instead. Which ended up being a blessing.
For example, for its Parquet range of furniture, Garima Gurung, Social Media Manager at Oak Furnitureland, collected images of 27 different ways to style the range in different people’s homes. Photos proudly show off the furniture’s versatility in different lighting tones, with dogs, food items, and flowers serving as real-life backdrops, offering a natural, appealing look and feel.
“People have very different tastes, so to see how someone with similar tastes to your own has styled their space really brings things to life,” Gurung said. “If you’re into bright bold colors, or neutral and muted, you can really see if it’s going to work.”
UGC is not only a great way to showcase the looks of your products in real homes — it’s also a way to celebrate your customers’ creativity and inspire others.
Another reason Oak Furnitureland chose to work with Bazaarvoice was to raise awareness and drive traffic to its website. The retailer bolstered its social commerce capabilities by adding Bazaarvoice Like2buy – a platform that turns Instagram likes into mobile sales. The tool does this by providing a “link in bio” section leading to a page of the brand’s featured products.
The Like2buy functionality generated immediate returns. For the 11,000 visits over the past year, click-through rates hit 79%, which is 19 points higher than the firm’s benchmark. Proving that traffic is coming to the site organically and customers are exploring products once they start looking around.
Oak Furnitureland also leverages Bazaarvoice Galleries to inspire consumers to learn about products as they scroll through compelling images and videos. When compared to non-Galleries traffic, site visitors who engage with Galleries spend 281% more time on site, conversion increases by 248%, and average order value goes up by 21%.
Seeing is believing. Bazaarvoice Galleries and UGC make customers spend more.
“Our customers love the user-generated photo galleries on our site,” said Simon Ruddick, e-commerce trading manager for Oak Furnitureland. “Providing customers with beautiful galleries and inspiring looks created by other customers has a substantial impact on website engagement, and conversion rates. Customers who interact with our website galleries have a 21% higher average order value.”
Since the brand increased its use of UGC, it’s found that overall engagement with UGC is tracking at double the rate it sees with brand-generated content.
“Our followers tend to engage with UGC lifestyle images more than they do with our own brand images. That just shows they prefer to see authentic images of our products in real homes,” Gurung said.
In most situations, scrolling through dozens of UGC images to find the right ones would be a time-intensive exercise. Not for Oak Furnitureland. Using Bazaarvoice’s moderation services, Gurung is able to populate themes with photos in a matter of minutes, ensuring that each entry adheres to the brand’s guidelines for imagery.
“Bazaarvoice is a great platform to find the best user-generated content for your products really easily,” Gurung said. “The moderation services, in particular, save a lot of time and make a social media manager’s life so much simpler. I can easily find inspirational product images that speak to our brand promise and show our products in an engaging and authentic way.”
“The Bazaarvoice platform really has been a lifesaver,” Quigley added. “It has generated real results at a time when we were looking to increase engagement across the board. And it makes it easy to ask for permissions, record permissions, tag products and get images out on social media and our website inspiration galleries.”
About the company
Oak Furnitureland is a British furniture retailer specializing in hardwood furniture for every room in the home, sofa ranges, and accessories.
Providing customers with beautiful galleries and inspiring looks created by other customers has a substantial impact on website engagement, and conversion rates. Customers who interact with our website galleries have a 21% higher average order value.
E-commerce trading manager at Oak Furnitureland
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