Selling furniture online is risky business. Shoppers can’t inspect products, take their own measurements, or make multiple trips to the stores. These challenges fall into the hands of the retailer to solve — it’s up to the product, UX, design, and marketing teams to emulate a real-world buying experience.
Apt2B.com's co-founders Alex Back and Mat Herman knew that online retail would be the future of selling furniture — in spite of all the potential risks. In 2010, the duo established Apt2B with the vision for an e-commerce experience that reflected the needs of modern, technically savvy consumers.
There are a number of things that make the online furniture shopping more complex:
Despite these challenges, Back & Herman knew who their audience would be (Gen X & Millennials) and knew online would eventually become their primary discovery & shopping platform.
“Focusing on a younger, more hip shopping audience, we wanted to make it easier to get everything they need when they move into their new place. Nobody has time to visit 20 big-box and mom-and-pop stores to furnish their living room or bedroom.”
The company began as a small, bootstrapped company - but by 2018, Apt2b.com had grown into a national recognized (and distributed) brand with over 3,000 product SKUs in their furniture & home decor catalog.
“As we grew and our customer base grew, we knew that we needed more of an elevated look." says Back. "We weren’t the cheapest option out there, but we offered exceptional value. Our design aesthetic reflects our product in that everything can mix and match within a given home or apartment, together, nicely.”
One of the goals of Apt2B has been to maintain brand consistency. This focus has been essential to ensuring a strong customer experience for successful long-term relationships and future sales.
“What’s made Apt2B be so different and unique is our commitment to staying small and boutique in our look, feel, and personalization.” says Back. “We’ve always tried to stay as fun as possible because at the end of the day, we’re selling couches, and there’s only so many different ways that you can sell couches in a creative way.”
For these reasons, the company relies on technology integration partners to maintain an impeccable customer experience. It’s this need that led Apt2B’s founding team to Tangiblee. Apt2B's co-founding team discovered Tangiblee a trade-show in early 2018.
“It was an easy decision to partner with Tangiblee,” says Back.
Back detailed just how difficult it is to provide adequate product information that consumers understand & trust.
“As a furniture company, it’s very difficult to provide an adequate amount of visualization to an online consumer. It’s a constant struggle to provide enough information and imagery so that the customer feels comfortable and excited about making a purchase”.
Back explained further,
“It checks a major box off in the furniture buying process. So many people are concerned with whether it’s going to fit into the space, whether it’s going to look good with other items on the site, and what everything looks like together.”
“Tangiblee pretty much did all of the work. We basically had to provide minimal to zero data — just access to our e-commerce portal. Magically, products were crawled.”
Since partnering with Tangiblee in 2018, Apt2B has seen numerous successes during the partnership tenure.
For one, engagement rates dramatically increased on pages showing the Tangiblee Call-To-Action (CTA). During a 2018 A/B experiment, Apt2B saw conversion rates on these pages increase significantly - almost 8X - while both AOV and RPV saw double-digit increases during the same test.
"Getting up and running was an easy process," says Back. But Back explained what really made Tangiblee stand out among other technology vendors or solutions - ease of implementation.
“I think what makes Tangiblee stand out so much is the technology itself. The ability to, with almost perfect accuracy, show or visualize what a product looks like in a room, with perfect accuracy,"
Back continued, "That's what makes the solution so very unique. I don’t know of any other product or technology that’s doing the same thing.”
Tangiblee and Apt2B continue working together and have recently developed a Multi-SKU bundling option for Room View - a feature specifically requested for by Alex Back way back in 2019.
While both companies were forced to put many initiatives on hold during the early days of 2020 and the uncertainty during the COVID-19 lockdowns, both Back & the Tangiblee team continues discussing improvements & new features.