Date Published (12.8.20)
Read Time 0 Min

We were joined by Ben Groom, Chief Digital Officer of Herman Miller Group, to discuss the new and our process of rethinking digital retail.

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Behind the Build with DWR

We hosted a live talk to discuss learnings from our engagement with Design Within Reach. Hosted by our Senior Strategist Emma Santangelo, our CEO Matt Faulk spoke with Herman Miller Group’s Chief Digital Officer Ben Groom to explore the modern client-agency relationship, the process and build of the new, and the state of eCommerce. We’ve condensed our discussion into three key takeaways below.

Scope broad to define the real problem.

When we began our engagement with the Design Within Reach team, our first order of business was to align on a collective vision for their brand in the digital space. Our scope was broad, allowing both teams to explore various possibilities without worrying about strict guidelines.

As a result, our partnership took form naturally. With our team helping to direct the efforts and their team focused on execution, we all worked off of each other in real time to find the perfect solution. And within our model of performance-based compensation, we weren’t satisfied until we got it just right.

Matt and Ben stressed the importance of co-creation—the concept of listening to one another and establishing a culture of trust, accountability, and collaboration. We combined our external design expertise with DWR’s in-house knowledge of the furniture industry, and the results speak for themselves.

Develop an environment of experimentation beyond best practices.

We set out to create a refreshed digital platform for that was both industry-leading as well as customer-centric.

We interviewed more than 100 customers at launch—exceeding 200 hours of direct research. From there, we distilled our findings into 12 user journey maps, informing each individual feature that was built into the shopping experience.

And the research didn’t stop at the strategy phase. We prototyped iteratively and tested continuously as we designed the site to ensure that we were hitting the mark at each stage of the process.

In addition to adhering to industry best practices, we worked diligently to listen to the brand’s audience and crafted a bespoke experience that met all of their needs. We helped move them past consideration by providing moments of high value across the site—turning browsers into buyers.

Compelling interactions drive personal connection.

With furniture becoming more commoditized and mass-produced, our challenge was to make Design Within Reach products feel special and one-of-a-kind. To solve for this, we set out to personalize each customer’s experience down to the subtle details.

We pulled from the current zeitgeist of lookbooks and online design inspiration to help customers curate their spaces and “author the stories of their homes.” This meant bringing the best of the brand’s customer service and design expertise from its brick-and-mortar showrooms to the digital environment.

In the physical storefronts, account executives are there to answer questions and guide customers through design decisions. This human element was missing from the previous iteration of the site, so we helped the brand leverage live chat, phone calls, and video support to connect users with one of the many design experts on staff.

We weaved this rich interactivity in at different moments throughout the experience, including product detail pages and configurators. End-to-end, we wanted to make sure that users felt like part of the entire process from consideration to conversion.

We continue this conversation in our panel The Future of eCommerce as well as S4E17 (The Hype of Home) of Brandbeats, both of which you can find below.



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