Brenda Boehler: The opportunity exists in creating an experience for consumers to solve a problem online. We do that in many ways. Some online and some offline. I’ll speak about lighting specifically. If you’re a lighting retailer, it’s really important that you create really good content that makes it easy for consumers to understand scale and to understand lighting. We do that in a number of ways.
We do that through not only robust content on our product detail pages but also through buying guides within our blog so that people have the resources. We just help them become a problem solver for their home. The other thing that we invest in is training for our team members. There is an organization called the American Lighting Association, where you can get certifications for a higher level of knowledge within the lighting space.
All of our team members, especially customer care and account managers, go through American Lighting Association training so that if a customer is stuck and they want to chat with us, we have an added level of knowledge around a product vertical that you can’t find on Amazon.
Sramana Mitra: You’re talking about user experience from a shopper point of view. What do you do specifically that is particularly interesting and special? What technology do you have to address that? This idea of doing mockups online to simulate your environment has been around for a long time. Where are we in that process? How is lighting being tackled in that context?
Brenda Boehler: Let’s start with the basics. A really simple approach that we have layered into our business that has achieved high engagement is the concept called shop-the-look. It is a replicated vignette in a furniture store. It’s very simple. It’s not new technology but it is a simple solution that a large amount of consumers engage with because they can see a visual representation of a number of products in one location and they can, very easily, shop-the-look.
Sometimes the solution within a business is not a bright shiny object. There are times when it is. New technology is really important and I’ll speak about that in a minute. A basic shop-the-look concept is really important. What we have done is, we have developed unique products so that we do not have to compete. On some products, we carry manufacturers but we have also developed our own product.
A good example of that is our brand 4. It is the address for a number of different decorating styles. All throughout that brand, we have the shop-the-look concept so people can very clearly see how a room is set up and they can buy the different products and create that same room setting. It’s just a problem solving approach to business. That’s one way.