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Made.com wants to use data to stitch-together showrooms and online customer experiences

Online home furniture retailer Made.com has been trialing its showroom strategy in bricks and mortar stores since 2014, and in that time has seen footfall rates of over 10,000 per month, with the company eventually hoping to use Bluetooth-enabled beacons to enhance customer experience both in-store and online.

Annabel Kilner, Made.com commercial director (pictured), says that while showrooming is a relatively new experience for the online retailer, it is still exploring how best to fuse the two outlets for customer interaction.

Both Criteo and Made.com have conducted trials recently to test how they can use online advertising sales to further enhance customer relations with customers that have interacted with the online retailer in-store.

“Our showrooms are not a hard-sell, they’re a soft-sell,” she explains, adding that some of the good news stories in its bricks-and-mortar experiments thus far have included the 40 per cent-plus adoption rates of people that use its iPads in-store to later interact with the retailer online.

She goes on to explain how the company is working with online advertising outfit Criteo – which first made its name in the online ad retargeting space, but is now looking to earn itself a reputation for more sophisticated means of marketing activities such as prospecting for new customers.

Kilner is eager to point out that this incrementality trial is not going to be used to bombard users with ads all over the internet, the minute after they have left their bricks and mortar real estate.

“We see the showrooms as a conversion tool, not an acquisition tool, and we don’t want people to walk into our stores, and then retarget them,” explains Kilner.

Jon Buss, UK managing director of Criteo, explains how it is now working with a number of retail clients to install beacons in-store.

From here it can then work with retailers to cross-reference the data points captured through customers’ browsing (captured through devices such as the in-store iPads referenced above by Kilner) with its own online data sets of customer browsing behaviour - captured from where they browse elsewhere.

Criteo can then identify online advertising opportunities for retailers online to help urge potential customers through the purchase funnel, with many retailers now looking to devise more complex attribution strategies that better help them understand how their online advertising is helping pushing sales in-store – or in the case of Made.com, how its showrooms, are helping push online sales.

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Ronan Shields

I cover digital media trading and martech for The Drum magazine, plus I write my own opinion pieces, I don't really commission them.

All by Ronan