With customers having spent most of their time at home during COVID-19, Dalin Brinkman, the Senior Manager of Site Strategy for Lamps Plus, discusses how the nation’s largest specialty lighting retailer is assisting in shoppers’ urge to redecorate.
Lamps Plus is the nation’s largest specialty lighting retailer. Founded in 1976, we’re a Los Angeles-based company that operates three dozen retail stores across the western United States and also maintains a thriving e-commerce site.
When coronavirus hit this spring, all 36 Lamps Plus brick and mortar stores were temporarily closed to protect the health and safety of both customers and associates. But with consumers spending more time at home, we’ve witnessed a significant need for the redesigning and repurposing of spaces during the quarantine. For example, small New York City apartments are now being heavily utilized for work and physical fitness. Because of this, renters are shopping LampsPlus.com to add products to their homes.
Recognizing that without physical stores, our online shopping experience needed to serve as a showroom, we became focused on inspiring and guiding customers along a vastly different purchase journey.
In this post, I’m going to touch on the changes we’ve seen in consumer behavior as well as share some of the strategic updates Lamps Plus has made to how we sell, which has ultimately driven a significant increase in online sales.
Shoppers are buying for a different purpose
Forced to look at the same four walls all day, people have been more motivated than ever to revamp their spaces, with previously low priority or delayed home projects becoming a top concern. In fact, we’ve noticed customers are more focused on products within the home office, lighting, and decor categories, specifically:
- Ceiling fans and mirrors – Consumers want to make their homes more comfortable all around.
- Outdoor lighting and furniture – As summer vacations get canceled, Americans want to improve their outdoor oasis as it may be their best opportunity to relax.
- Desk lamps and desk seating – Consumers continue to set up or alter home offices while working from home.
- Indoor and outdoor fountains – Consumers are looking to add a soothing element to their daily living situation.
- Lamps with USB ports to charge devices – Consumers need to connect with family and friends and also work from home.
- Lamp pairs, floor lamps, and lampshades – Consumers are adding portable lighting to brighten up rooms or replace older fixtures.
Unable to envision or physically inspect how these products will look in their home, we implemented the following helpful experiences to better aid in the purchase decision process.
We made our lighting design services virtual, and free
A huge value that we provide customers with in-store is access to our lighting consultants, who can answer any questions shoppers may have and offer expert advice based on their deep product knowledge. To ensure this same level of care, we took that same service and made it available online but with more elements, allowing shoppers to show us their rooms and get custom design solutions so that they can shop with confidence from home.
The results have been so successful, we plan to continue offering our free online lighting design services into the future.
We became a source of inspiration
Our stores are also a place where customers go to find inspiration, so in keeping with that promise, we’ve added a section on our homepage that includes recommended decoration ideas for every room in the house. Once a visitor clicks on one of the content modules, they can browse through the category page and find endless ideas for how to build the perfect living room, dining room, kitchen, and more.
We started sharing design tips and tricks
Concerned about opening their doors to outside contractors and help, we are now focusing heavily on offering how-to resources for customers to easily take on projects around the home themselves. Our social media channels are littered with videos and tips like the one below, which walks through how to install a ceiling fan.
We hope by creating a sense of independence among shoppers, our brands will leave a lasting impression and maybe even turn them into true DIYers, which would have exponential benefits on our business.
We’re keeping customers informed
As we recently re-opened our three texas stores and plan to do the same in additional states over the next few weeks, we’re relying on geolocation technology to tailor messaging on the site on a state-by-state basis. This level of communication is critical to ensuring foot traffic to our stores in areas that are getting back to normal, as shoppers need to be informed about whether their local store is operating again during normal business hours.
Adapting to the new normal
Amid all of this, our first priority has been to be as proactive as we can. The Lamps Plus team knows that by being able to get customer feedback, we’ll be able to better predict their needs. For us, it’s been an amazing opportunity to reinvent our customer’s e-commerce shopping experience and we couldn’t be more excited to continue on our path of digital transformation.