It is believed that Herman Miller actually invented the (in)famous office cubicle which sectioned off office workers for decades. Before they were the premise of jokes in comedians’ notebooks, they had symbolized the growing individualism and innovation of its day – somewhere in the mid-to-late ‘60s I believe!
Today, cubicles have been replaced with coffee tables and balcony chairs as millions of us continue to work from home, which has resulted in more and more workers building their own home offices… much to the benefit of furniture stores like Herman Miller.
Through a suite of Salesforce cloud platforms, Herman Miller has redesigned its ecommerce experience from a user’s first interaction with the brand all the way to the post-purchase journey.
Herman Miller is seen as an innovator in the furniture design industry, and is recognized around the world, serving customers in around 100 countries. To follow their history of innovation, it decided to rebuild their ecommerce platform from the ground up (… a full refurbishment if you prefer a furniture pun.)
The relaunch followed in the footsteps of another one of its divisions, Design Within Reach, which was carried out last year.
Our new physical Herman Miller Seating stores have proven to be extremely popular with customers around the world,” said Ben Groom, its chief digital officer. “They address a critical need in our society right now: how best to improve our Work from Home set-ups and prepare for a more hybrid working future? For customers unable to experience these stores in person, our new site takes the physical experience and brings it into your home virtually.”
Their new site involves an improved customer-centric design to ecommerce. It involves easier access to popular product categories. It involves a new feature that allows customers to look at lifestyle images of products.
In order to achieve this Herman Miller unboxed a suite of Salesforce products that include:
SFCC gives personalized product recommendations to website visitors, as well as a streamlined checkout experience and live chat functionality.
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Herman Miller uses Marketing Cloud to develop complete customer digital experiences as well as enhanced email campaigns. It also uses its Marketing Cloud’s Interaction Studio to get to know better their customer preferences across all digital touchpoints, which they can then use the data to create personalized customer interactions.
- Sales Cloud
They use Sales Cloud to handle sales leads and opportunities, as well as to monitor their team performance, track insights of sales, and automate previously manual tasks via a central dashboard.
- Service Cloud
Herman Miller has been using Salesforce Service Cloud to manage the increases in case volumes that have resulted in part from Covid and the pandemic.
- Experience Cloud
Salesforce Experience Cloud is used to handle and collaborate with dealers when it comes to projects like new store openings as well as new product lines.
- Sustainability Cloud
Herman Miller uses Salesforce Sustainability Cloud to track its carbon footprint and other climate-related initiatives that it has implemented to achieve its sustainability goals.
The pandemic factor
When Covid emerged and triggered lockdowns, the impact was massive and the pace of reaction for businesses was vital. Fortunately for Herman Miller, it didn’t have to build from scratch an end-to-end ecommerce platform.
“Last year our industry was turned upside down,” added Ben. “To remain relevant to our customers, we really had to fast track digitizing the full Herman Miller experience. One thing we know about our customers is they expect to personalize their experience. They want to interact with our brand and our products in a way that feels unique to them.”
The renovation has been really paying off. They have increased conversion rates, quickened site speed, and simplified add-to-cart functionality. In the last quarter takings, Herman Miller brought in a 300% increase in ecommerce year on year.
“We’ve embraced customer-centric commerce and worked hard to improve every step of the customer journey,” said Ben. “For example, many of our shoppers start on social media for design inspiration. So we’ve embedded commerce on their preferred channels. But what if the customer wants to dive deeper?
“We spark their imagination with consistency across our catalogs, our campaigns, and then our site, to really let them shop the room. We even let shoppers customize and visualize our chairs in their exact preferences.”
Yet there are times when there simply is no substitute for having a product right in front of you. “So customers can use our site to search inventory by product, by store,” said Ben. “At checkout shoppers can pay on their terms with their preferred payment methods and flexible options, like buy now, pay later.”
But digital is never a completed project. The absence of limits implies never-ending room for expansion. “The more we dive into our digital transformation,” added Ben, “the more we realize that there’s just no finish line. Customers want to shop across different channels, they want immersive experiences and the bar just keeps on rising.”
PS: ArganoUV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) development & strategy teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.