Share Homefashion Group is one of the largest suppliers of flooring, wallpaper, window treatments, lighting, and furniture in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Dutch holding recently embarked on a rebrand of Kwantum, its flagship company.  With more than 100 stores and growing, Kwantum serves customers in the Netherlands and Belgium.

“We wanted to shift the perception of Kwantum from seller of discount furniture to leader in modern and inspiring home furnishings,” said Jeroen de Punder, Chief Marketing Officer at Kwantum. Part of the rebrand strategy involved redesigning, integrating, and expanding Kwantum’s digital presence. 
 
Prior to the rebrand, Kwantum had a basic website that was essentially an online product catalog. It lacked original content and the ability to integrate with social media and buyer persona-based customer journeys. When it came to user experience, one size fit all. 
 

Kwantum’s 2020 strategy: insights on customer behavior 

To keep ahead of demanding consumers, rising competition and evolving technology, Kwantum invested in research to support their strategy. Over the last few decades, Kwantum saw a major shift in customer behavior, needs, and demands brought about by societal changes. These changes will accelerate in the next 5 years, due to rapid developments in both new and existing technologies.   
 
“Retail will change more in the next 5 years then it did in the past 50 years.”
 
Push marketing is no longer sufficient to earn consumer trust due to their high expectations of brands. Well aware of the commercial aim behind traditional advertisement, consumers put their trust in brand recommendations from other customers and their own personal network.  
 

The customer is always on…. but with less focus  

Kwantum based their new customer-oriented strategy on 4 pillars:
 
  • Transparency 
  • Relevant content 
  • Customers' storytelling  
  • Focus on specific segments and personas 
HFG wanted to create personalized and authentic experiences for their visitors to make them feel understood and well served by the brand. But to do so, they needed to contextualize the consumer’s interaction with their brand. They collected valuable data on each user’s interaction with Kwantum such as: page visits, purchase history, mail activity and devices used to access the Kwantum website. But most important of all was zeroing in on the home fashion style each consumer likes best to deliver relevant content and products. 
 

The right platform technology to deliver personalized experiences 

Homefashion Group chose the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) and Sitecore Commerce. Added to that Homefashion Group decided to start the project with a Sitecore Commerce accelerator: Mercury e-commerce. Kwantum believes in a 1 platform approach instead of integrating different marketing software as before.  
 
Bart Hoppe, Chief Executive Officer at Mercury E-commerce: 
“Sitecore is considered a leader in Web Content Management with excellent tooling for both customer experience management and commerce. Due to the ready for styling e-commerce components of Mercury E-commerce, Homefashion Group is able to reduce project risk, shorten the time to market and empower marketers to strengthen the online community and implement personalization with 50% less budget.”

The power of customer oriented e-commerce websites isn’t just about the best content or higher conversion. It’s about a well-balanced platform mixing content with commerce and a customer-centric community that drives your sales and conversion. 
 

When Content meets Commerce 

In the case of Kwantum, content is essential to getting customers inspired by the latest trends in their commerce catalog. With Sitecore Kwantum marketers are now able to use rich, relevant content together with catalog items in a single platform.
 
With Mercury E-commerce Kwantum now uses flexible components for interactive pricing in different markets. It also allows their Product marketers to tailor content, navigation, and product layouts to optimize the customer journey for each visitor. Content marketers can use customer behavior and browsing context to deliver relevant content at the right time. 
 

Customers tell the story: Community improves Conversion 

As part of their 2020 strategy, Kwantum wanted to facilitate “online social dialogue” by making it really easy to promote content produced by its customers (which is always more than Kwantum can ever produce by itself). Customers earn bonuses by sharing photos of recently purchased and installed Kwantum products. These photos are then used by Kwantum for advertizing purposes.

This approach to social media created a community in which Kwantum is constantly interacting with its customers. Interaction increases both brand awareness and loyalty, resulting in higher conversion rates. 
  

The community in omnichannel 

The influence of the community stretches beyond just engagement. Kwantum chose an omnichannel approach by extending community content to offline channels:  
 
  • User generated content is used in brochures to inspire confidence in others
  • In-store mood boards with QR code are used as a cross channel link to show items in authentic situations at home

User-generated content 

With its platform in place, the next challenge involved content strategy - the planning, sourcing and development of content that would enhance the customer journey and, more importantly, provide relevant content to accompany product information.      

“By placing unique content with product and community info, we can engage visitors for longer periods of time and add more value to the experience, which ultimately results in increased sales and brand loyalty. Including relevant content also has a positive effect on our SEO-ranking, boosting organic traffic results,” said Jeroen de Punder.    

Kwantum created a cross-functional team to execute a persona-driven content strategy. Once buyer personas were created, the team decided to wrap user-generated content around product information to deliver a more tailored experience to like-minded shoppers. Personas are not only mapped on quality, style, price, and service but also on DIY or service at home.  

The powerful combination of Sitecore and Mercury E-commerce components offer a fully integrated Google analytics e-commerce tracking and Sitecore event triggering to give a 360-degree view on customer behavior. Components can be easily configured to trigger Sitecore goals and Google analytics events. Mercury exposes catalog information optimized to increase the SEO value of the Kwantum website. Catalog information is published using a url structure that is both visitor- and SEO-friendly. E-commerce marketers can optimize SEO value by configuring auto-generated (templated) meta data or by specifying meta data manually. It’s very efficient and saves the Kwantum team time. 


Changing the loyalty game 

In support of these efforts, Kwantum also evolved its loyalty program. While its former loyalty program was only based on discount and next purchases, their new loyalty program is now based on community participation. As shoppers share content relating to Kwantum products, they earn points, discounts, and other rewards. 
 
Another result of the company’s customer-oriented strategy is an online configurator for window decorations. The customer can choose curtains or other window decor in every variation and option, order custom sizes, and receive the order within 3 weeks while the made-to-order data is stored in Kwantum’s back-end systems. With good quality comes excellent service: warranty up to 20 years! By integrating content and commerce, Homefashion Group delivers a standout customer experience across all channels. 
 
"Mercury E-commerce enables us to implement a highly flexible and agile e-commerce strategy with which we'll be able to launch online niche stores within a matter of weeks. With Sitecore Commerce underpinning a stack of additional Mercury E-commerce tools, we've now got everything we need in-house to accelerate time to market, putting us leaps and bounds ahead of our competitors," says by Jeroen de Punder, Head of Marketing, Homefashion Group B.V. 
 

Results & future 

Taking a well-considered approach to this content-first strategy has paid off. Since deploying the strategy, Kwantum has seen a 25% increase in visitors both online and offline, as well as significant revenue growth and lower IT-costs by using an integrated platform. As a result of the new loyalty program, Kwantum has seen a 25% increase in user engagement.

Homefashion Group has over 1 million visitors a week and delivers 1 out 5 floors and 1 out of 4 window dressing solutions in its market. The Sitecore experience platform is a solid foundation to roll-out additional (niche) websites and online stores within the group. This decreases TCO, time to market and keeps Homefashion Group agile towards market changes and customer engagement. 

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