Online boom helps Lee Longlands boost festive sales
The successful launch of a new e-commerce website has seen Lee Longlands buck the winter gloom and post an impressive 6.1% increase on like-for-like sales this quarter.
Bosses at the West Midlands’ leading furniture and flooring retailer believes the move to a new digital strategy – including a push on social media – helped it drive traffic to its five stores, as well as recording £250,000 of direct online purchases.
The company, who celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2012, said the ability for customers to search for products and buy via the web helped it overcome the issues caused by the adverse weather conditions seen in January.
“Consumers are increasingly looking towards the multi-channel retailers, who use both online and the traditional in-store environment to interact with consumers. The retailers who have embraced the digital age appear to have performed better during winter trading,” explained Robert Lee, Director at Lee Longlands.
“We recognised this at the beginning of 2012 and spent the best part of ten months and £100,000 of investment developing www.leelonglands.com so that we offer a great shopping experience virtually as well as in our stores in Birmingham, Cheltenham Spa, Leamington and Abingdon.”
He continued: “The feedback we have received to date has been fantastic. £250,000 of web sales in just six weeks proves it is working, but importantly we are hearing that people are using the e-commerce site to inform their purchases before they visit us.”
The website allows consumers to search more than 2,500 different products, ranging from sofas and dining furniture to beds and coffee tables, with plans in place to upload the company’s stunning collection of accessories and lighting in the next few weeks.
A quick and easy to use e-commerce facility means that purchases can be made within minutes and customers can bespoke their sofas by choosing from a selection of fabrics, various wood colour options for the feet and even different cushions fabrics to complete the look.
Other features include the latest news section, updates on special promotional sales and the ‘inspire me’ section that provides access to the latest ranges from brands including Duresta, Ercol, Parker Knoll, Stressless, Tempur and Vispring.
Robert continued: “The initial investment is only the start of our multi-channel strategy and we have recently set up a new department to drive online sales and look at how digital can interact within the store environment to aid consumer experience.
“Our Facebook page and twitter presence (@leelonglands) is also proving popular and we are using both to push exclusive social media offers and answer customer enquiries.”
For more than four generations Lee Longlands has helped discerning home owners furnish their homes to the highest quality.
Its team of experienced buyers travels the world to source exclusive furniture, flooring and accessories to complete the look, with more than 60 brand names currently available in store.
This includes the UK’s first ever showroom dedicated to Frank Hudson luxury bedrooms, one of the biggest collections of Ligne Roset contemporary furniture in the country and stunning Italian leather sofas handmade by Natuzzi.
For further information, please visit www.leelonglands.com or follow the company on twitter @leelonglands.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .