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CRM in Action: Lamps Plus Builds Sales While Cutting Costs
Lamps Plus needed a more efficient way for customers to find what they wanted, while minimizing expensive call center interactions.
For the rest of the May 2004 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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CHALLENGE: With more than 10,000 lighting products available on Lamps Plus' Web site, customers were often bombarded with unwanted products while searching. Lamps Plus needed a more efficient way for customers to find what they wanted, while minimizing expensive call center interactions. President and owner Dennis Swanson believes it was crucial to apply a new search system. The company's homegrown search application featured radio buttons that a customer would check off. If the search result was unsatisfactory, the customer had to start from scratch. This often caused customers to abandon their search. Swanson sought a system that would allow users to find lighting by any number of attributes, either separately or in alignment with other attributes. SOLUTION: Lamps Plus turned to EasyAsk to power the search. Lamps Plus conducted an initial test for which half of all Web site users continued to receive the old system's functionality and half were given the benefit of EasyAsk. EasyAsk--powered customers contributed to 15 percent more business than did the other group. BENEFIT: EasyAsk's search features are now available at the top of every Web page, as well as in the in-store, Web-enabled kiosks. Using natural-language search enables customers and salespeople to quickly find items based on product attributes like price range, lighting category, or surface finish. Online shoppers can now view a larger selection of inventory, families of products, and coordinating accessories. Lamps Plus has experienced a 10 to 15 percent increase in both store and Internet sales, a 15 percent decrease in calls to the call center, and an increase in specialty orders by 33 percent. Fewer than 5 percent of items are being returned from online shopping, and only between 5 and 10 percent of items are being returned in-store. Not only did the EasyAsk investment pay for itself in under a month, but it also helped pay for the large investment of in-store kiosks within six months.
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